TIKTOK is having one of those "worst weeks" we quite often see in the tech industry.
Fresh from being revealed as a potential security risk by the FBI, after a Senate-led investigation, there's now double-trouble for the Chinese-based social-network-come-reality-show.
First up, there's the small matter of a lawsuit which claims that TikTok has been collecting data on child users, back when it was called Musical.ly. It had different owners then, but hey - you buy the company, you buy the lawsuit.
Under the US COPPA laws, social media companies are explicitly barred from storing data of children under the age of 13, without express parental consent.
Whilst TikTok's owner, Bytedance, isn't the only company to have been found wanting in the COPPA department, the fact that it's Chinese just adds to that slightly cringing-through-your-cupped-hands element to the story.
Meanwhile, a German website has uncovered a policy that has seen TikTok taking down videos posted by disabled people. It said the measures were introduced to reduce cyberbullying but has since acknowledged that its process was flawed.
The leaked internal documents show that staff were instructed to suppress videos from minorities including those with facial disfigurements or features such as birthmarks, users with autism, downs syndrome or the more generalised "disabled people".
Critics, including the leakers at Netzpolitik, have remarked that these users can be left feeling "victimised", and that the responsible thing to do is to go after the bullies, rather than further marginalise the victims.
TikTok says it now uses more "nuanced" policies.
Earlier this Summer, TikTok was criticised after it was revealed that young users were paying workshy fops or ‘influencers' for vague promises of shout-outs or personal access to them, in a completely unregulated and often fraudulent environment. μ
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