Headline, April 14 2024/ ''' TIK DISENCHANTMENT TOK '''


 TOK '''


STRIFE AT TIKTOK OVER THE WAR IN GAZA. The video app faces criticism over how it determines which posts users see.

When Barak Herscowitz joined TikTok two years ago in the company's Tel Aviv office, his role was to recruit Israeli government agencies and other public-sector groups to join the video service and take advantage of its popularity.

His pitch : TikTok was a powerful communication tool and getting more influential in the country by the day.

But Mr. Herscowitz, 38 an Israeli who had worked for the country's conservative former prime minister, Naftali Bennett, and has at times criticized Palestinians on the social network X, grew disenchanted with the company after the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

His frustrations stemmed from seeing some employees express anti-Israel views in an internal group chat, and what he perceived to be a double standard in how the company approved ads that referred to the war, he said in an interview. And he was not satisfied with the response from the company when he raised those concerns.

By the end of January, he quit. TikTok has been dogged for months by accusations that its app has shown a disproportionate amount of pro-Palestinian and antisemitic content to users of its hugely popular video platform.

TikTok has strongly rejected those arguments, and its executives have met multiple times with Jewish groups to discuss those concerns.

But the claims of bias have nevertheless helped fuel the debate over a U.S. House of Representatives bill passed this month that would force TikTok's Chinese owner, Byte Dance to sell the app or have it face a ban. 

Mr. Herscowitz's experience, as well interviews with four current employees at TikTok and dozens of screenshots of internal conversations, points to how some of those same currents of discontent have roiled TikTok internally.

Mr. Herscowitz alluded to some of those concerns in a post on X right after he left, and his departure was brought up that week in a U.S. Senate hearing with social media executives, including TikTok's chief executive, Shou Chew.

Mr. Herscowitz and the four employees said that they, and other colleagues, had expressed dissatisfaction in internal channels with how the company had managed in-house criticisms of Israel and dialogue around the war.

In addition, they have been upset to see personal views, sometimes extreme, aired in a company chat room that employees made after the war started called Palestinian Support.

The employees were frustrated that the group included some workers from TikTok's trust and safety division, which sets rules about content on the platform.

'' I think they are aware of some employees who not only share these views but are in a position to shape the content and the policy of the platform,'' Mr. Hersowitz said, adding that many Israelis felt the company was biased against Jews.

TikTok, when asked about the content raised by Mr. Herscowitz and the other employees said that all its employees were responsible for adhering to TikTok's internal code of conduct, '' which promotes mutual respect and provides for a workplace free of discrimination and harassment.''

The company added that the posts Mr. Herscowitz had flagged as inappropriate or offensive had not been made by people who worked directly in content-moderation or content policy.

TikTok has long said its recommendation algorithm doesn't '' take sides '' on issues. The company has pointed to Gallup data showing that millennials in the United States have become increasingly sympathetic to Palestinians in recent years.

It said it had been working aggressively to address hate speech on the app. The company removed more than 34 million videos that broke its rules in the United States from October to December, and more than 96 percent were taken down before users reported them.

TikTok also said that its U.S. moderators received unconscious-bias training and other policy training and development.

Its trust and safety team, which TikTok has said is made up of more than 40,000 people, participated in an enrichment program from Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, to deepen its understanding of the Holocaust and better root-out antisemitism on the app.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author Sapna Maheshwari.

With respectful dedication to the Global Founder Framers of The World Students Society and then Global Historians, Mankind, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive and eternal ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter X !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!