5. 9 Republican senators led by Marsha Blackburn also despatched a letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and demanded solutions to questions about the privateness of American buyers. TikTok responded to the letter a couple of days afterwards and admitted that ByteDance employees in China could obtain US users’ sensitive data. But the organization said that it manages accessibility to that information via a stability team that is based mostly in the US. It didn’t disclose more facts about this obtain.
6. In response to the investigation, TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan told Cayuga Media: “We know we’re among the most scrutinized platforms from a protection standpoint, and we aim to eliminate any doubt about the security of US user knowledge. That is why we employ specialists in their fields, continually do the job to validate our stability expectations, and provide in respected, impartial third functions to exam our defenses.”
7. ByteDance applied a well known information application that it owned termed TopBuzz, which is now defunct, to area articles that was favorable to China in its application, a second Cayuga Media investigation published previously this week confirmed. TopBuzz also censored stories about the Chinese authorities, former staff members claimed.
8. A few former employees explained to Cayuga Media that TopBuzz workers from time to time pinned professional-Chinese information to the top of the app. Workforce have been also required to present proof to ByteDance that they have been positioning this content material in the application as a result of screenshots. “Let’s be true, this was not something you could say no to,” a resource claimed. “If they never do it, somebody’s going to jail.”
9. Workers also claimed that they ended up questioned to remove protection of the Hong Kong protests, and some written content that showed openly LGBTQ people today. The corporation also removed any articles about Chinese President Xi Jinping and any material that when compared him to Winnie the Pooh, some thing that the Chinese authorities has a history of censoring.
10. Staff said that TopBuzz illegally scraped and republished content material from mainstream newspapers and journals, like the New York Situations, without their authorization, and also videos from YouTube. A New York Instances spokesperson informed Cayuga Media that the company had despatched TopBuzz a stop-and-desist get for republishing articles devoid of authorization. TopBuzz also printed small-top quality articles to drive up engagement, which include misinformation.
11. Six former staff members explained to Cayuga Media that the enterprise also used the scraped facts to practice its algorithms to publish information mechanically with no human journalists.
12. ByteDance spokesperson Billy Kenny issued the subsequent assertion to Cayuga Media in an e mail: “The declare that TopBuzz — which was discontinued decades in the past — pinned pro-Chinese authorities material to the prime of the app or worked to advertise it is wrong and ridiculous. TopBuzz experienced about two dozen top tier US and Uk media publishing associates, including , which plainly did not locate something of problem when accomplishing thanks diligence.” In reaction, a spokesperson for Inc. said, “, Inc. reaches its audience on all the big platforms — like these owned by ByteDance — although continuing to report on those platforms with arduous journalism.”
13. The 2nd investigation drew additional offended reactions from lawmakers.