TikTok Monitoring Users Watching Gay Content

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A list of users has been reportedly compiled by TikTok and are being monitored after watching gay content via the app. Former employees have protested this policy.

The app has kept up with users frequenting clips tagged under headlines such as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), reports The Wall Street Journal.

Former employees of TikTok have mentioned information regarding users’ viewing habits were compiled and kept on a dashboard.

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These ex-employees were based out of US, UK and Australia offices, and have said they flagged this issue with top executives in 2020 and 2021.

They have expressed concerns the information stored would be shared to outside parties, or be used as a form of blackmail for TikTok users.

Other social media companies including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube among others, have previously been criticised for gathering user data via online habits for tailoring targeted ads.

A comment has been requested by The Post from TikTok, and parent company Chinese-based multinational ByteDance.

“Safeguarding the privacy and security of people who use TikTok is one of our top priorities,” TikTok said in a statement provided to The Journal.

Prominent LGBT group GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) demanded the safeguarding of user data and privacy last year.

“This includes ceasing the practice of targeted surveillance advertising, in which companies use powerful algorithms to recommend content to users in order to maximize profit.”

US lawmakers are concerned that this type of handling by TikTok and its Chinese parent company could lead to users becoming vulnerable to espionage, as ByteDance has ties to the ruling Communist Party.

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Despite the denial TikTok is providing the Chinese government with user data, calls have grown to ban the app in the US.

It has already been banned from government-issued phones in countries such as, Canada and Australia. This is due to concerns the Chinese government can access user data or influence what people can view.

TikTok have advised Eric Han, the head of US trust and safety, will leave the company on May 12th.

It has been reported that a Canadian cybersecurity firm found that the parent company for TikTok was tracking dozens of websites of the US state governments.

The Biden administration is navigating through touch Republican opposition towards the app, with GOP lawmakers calling for a crackdown, and hitting Democrats over the permissive stance.

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