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TikTok will reveal its algorithm in the future, calls Instagram Reels a copied product

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said that Facebook is disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to TikTok's very presence in the US.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 31, 2020 | Updated 11:04 IST

Highlights

  • TikTok will soon reveal its algorithm, moderation policies, and data flow to regulators.
  • TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said that Instagram Reels was a copycat product.
  • TikTok has been facing scrutiny over privacy and security concerns in the US.

Chinese video-making app TikTok will now reveal its algorithm, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. The move comes shortly after TikTok created a $200 million fund for creators and influencers in the US. TikTok says by revealing its algorithm, it aims to become more transparent and accountable. The company has also invited other big tech companies to follow suit.

TikTok has been facing scrutiny in the US as the government earlier said it is looking at banning the app for spying on users' data. TikTok currently faces global backlash over privacy concerns.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer in a blog post said, "The entire industry has received scrutiny, and rightly so. Yet, we have received even more scrutiny due to the company's Chinese origins. We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability. We believe it is essential to show users, advertisers, creators, and regulators that we are responsible and committed members of the American community that follows US laws."

Asking the other companies to disclose their algorithms Mayer said, "Even more, we believe our entire industry should be held to an exceptionally high standard. That's why we believe all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. We will not wait for regulation to come, but instead, TikTok has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Center for moderation and data practices. Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms. This puts us a step ahead of the industry, and we encourage others to follow suit."

The TikTok CEO further said the company welcomes a healthy competition calling Instagram Reels a copycat product. He also challenged the short-form app to "bring it on." Reels is slated to release in the US in August. Mayer said Facebook's previous video-making tool Lasso was also a copycat product and that it had failed quickly.

"At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on. Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram) after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly. But let's focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor namely Facebook disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US."

TikTok has also said that it would offer 10,000 job positions in the US over the next three years. "TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy," Mayer said.

TikTok was banned in India with 58 other Chinese apps over security concerns.

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