TikTok will stop using China-based moderators to screen foreign content

TikTok will stop using China-based moderators to screen foreign content

The move to region-oriented moderators theoretically reduces the chances that TikTok will censor political statements and other content the Chinese government doesn’t like. It may also help with cultural understanding. While the existing moderators both speak the relevant languages and are familiar with the cultures they’re moderating, people from the areas under moderation might have a better chance of understanding cultural nuances.

As with earlier measures, TikTok isn’t doing this entirely voluntarily. Politicians and regulators (particularly in the US) are worried not just that TikTok might be censoring material, but that it might pose a security threat. The reduced involvement of China-based staff theoretically shows that it’s not an organ of the country’s authoritarian government. Whether or not it helps isn’t certain. Officials are still worried that the Communist Party could force TikTok to hand over data, and new moderators won’t change that.

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