Video-sharing app, TikTok allegedly told their moderators to filter or suppress video contents made by users who the app deemed too ugly or poor for the platform.
According to new documents released by The Intercept, moderators were instructed to screen through the types of videos that appear on a users home page which is known as the “For you” page.
TikTok’s moderators were instructed to exclude videos from the “For You” feed if they failed on any one of a number of categories.
Users with an “abnormal body shape (not limited to: dwarf, acromegaly),” who are “chubby … obese or too thin” or who have “ugly facial looks or facial deformities” should be removed, one document says, since “if the character’s appearance is not good, the video will be much less attractive, not to be recommended to new users.”
Also, moderators were told to remove videos with unappealing or unattractive backgrounds since “this kind of environment is … less fancy and appealing”.
A TikTok spokesperson said the goal was to prevent bullying on the platform.
However, TikTok revealed that some of the policies were either out of date or never formally in use, but the Intercept found the guidelines were followed in some form until at least late 2019.