TikTok has tens of thousands of moderators in Ireland looking for offensive content, CEO says

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testifies earlier than the Home Power and Commerce Committee within the Rayburn Home Workplace Constructing on Capitol Hill on March 23, 2023 in Washington, DC.

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To identify and take away offensive posts, TikTok has tens of hundreds of Eire-based employees tasked with content material moderation, CEO Shou Zi Chew mentioned on Thursday.

Talking on the TED2023 Chance convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, Chew mentioned TikTok has “clear neighborhood tips” and that executives don’t “make any ad-hoc selections” when coping with “dangerous actors” on the web who submit offensive content material on the app.

“Based mostly on that, we’ve got constructed a crew that’s tens of hundreds of individuals plus machines so as to determine content material that’s dangerous, and actively, proactively take away it from the platform,” Chew mentioned.

TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, is beneath intense stress from U.S. lawmakers who need to ban the app over considerations it poses a menace to nationwide safety. Chew’s feedback come weeks after the CEO withstood a barrage of robust questioning from U.S. legislators, who’ve additionally criticized TikTok for failing to stop the unfold of offensive content material on its platform or handle its contribution to an increase in teenage melancholy.

“As an organization, our purpose is to not optimize and maximize time spent,” Chew mentioned on Thursday, including that when persons are glued to their smartphone screens TikTok “will proactively ship you movies to let you know to get off the platform.”

The dangerous content material drawback just isn’t distinctive to TikTok. U.S. rivals, together with Meta, mum or dad of Fb and Instagram, and Google’s YouTube, have confronted related questions from lawmakers.

Chew mentioned TikTok takes the matter significantly.

“We actually encourage dad and mom to have these conversations with their youngsters of what’s the correct quantity of display screen time,” Chew mentioned. “I believe there is a wholesome relationship that it’s best to have together with your display screen and, as a enterprise, you recognize, we consider that that steadiness must be met.”

Chew additionally introduced up TikTok’s Undertaking Texas initiative, which is on the coronary heart of the corporate’s effort to reassure the general public that the info of U.S. customers will stay on home soil and will not fall into the palms of overseas governments, most notably China.

Though TikTok is partnering with Silicon Valley software program vendor Oracle to retailer and shield person knowledge, U.S. lawmakers stay involved that Beijing might eavesdrop on U.S. residents or probably unfold propaganda through the TikTok app.

“I can say that we’re constructing all of the instruments to stop any of those actions from occurring,” Chew mentioned. “And I am very assured that with an unprecedented quantity of transparency that we’re giving on the platform, we are able to cut back this danger to as little as zero as attainable.”

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