TickTok wants to be transparent. The company has announced that it’s taking new measures to give outsiders access to the algorithms it uses to sort and share users’ video, and it will be letting experts “observe our moderation policies in real-time”.
In a blog post, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said the changes put it “a step ahead of the industry” and challenged rivals to follow suit. “[W]e believe our entire industry should be held to an exceptionally high standard,” wrote Mayer. “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.”
The time of the news is significant. Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon face the House Judiciary’s antitrust panel today, and although TikTok is not among the companies facing the scrutiny of Congress, it is certain to be mentioned during the proceedings.