30.4 C
New Delhi
Sunday, March 7, 2021

UN experts ask TikTok not to trash rights principles while undertaking content moderation

TikTok, video-sharing social networking service. (Photo courtesy: Yahoo)

(TibetanReview.net, May22’20) – China’s use of its business companies to carry out the government’s political agenda came into sharp focus when the owner of the video-sharing platform TikTok was asked by UN human rights experts not to violate international human rights standards through censorship while undertaking the task of content moderation.

The UN’s concern was raised by David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and Githu Muigai, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, in a 10-page letter dated May 15 to Mr Zhang Yiming, Founder and Owner of TikTok.

The video-sharing social networking service had caused an uproar when it banned a US teen from posting videos criticizing China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. Following a global outcry, TikTok was forced to apologize and reinstate the US teen’s videos and account.

A leaked internal TikTok document revealed how the Chinese company ordered its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan issue, or the spiritual group Falun Gong.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has said in a report that ByteDance the parent company of TikTok founded in 2012, was playing an active role in disseminating the Chinese Communist Government’s propaganda.

The Chinese state control over this widely used app has triggered various privacy and security concerns. The US government agencies that included the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration have banned TikTok over security concerns. There is also a call in India too for it to be banned.

In their letter, the UN human rights experts have quoted the 2018 report by David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, which said: “the vagueness of hate speech and harassment policies has triggered complaints of inconsistent policy enforcement that penalizes minorities while reinforcing the status of dominant or powerful groups.”

The experts have further urged the company to clearly articulate its commitment to respect human rights in their terms of service and community standards. In particular, they have urged TikTok to ensure “fundamental commitment to non-discrimination.”

The experts have also said, “Companies responding to government removal requests must also keep in mind that any restrictions on the right to freedom of expression must be exceptional and that States bear the burden of demonstrating the consistency of such restrictions with the human rights principles.”

The experts have found TikTok’s guidelines on Transparency vague and stressed that human rights responsibilities require a more holistic approach to transparency. They have asked the company to adhere to human rights standards which would provide “a framework for TikTok to avoid blatant human rights violations.”

Related Articles

China’s Sichuan-Tibet Railway investment dwarfs spending on Three Gorges Dam

(TibetanReview.net, Mar04’21) – China’s project to build a railway line between Sichuan’s capital Chengdu and Tibet’s capital Lhasa is its biggest construction...

China curbed foreign journalists’ work on Covid-19 pretexts, used some as pawns in diplomatic disputes

(TibetanReview.net, Mar01’21) – Foreign journalists working in China have seen a "rapid decline in media freedom" in 2020 with Beijing using coronavirus...

Chinese gov’t exaggerating its role in poverty elimination?

(TibetanReview.net, Mar01’21) – China’s claim that it has lifted 100 million people out of poverty and eliminated absolute poverty needs to be...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

6,210FansLike
772FollowersFollow
7,292FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

China to ‘support’ Tibet in building passageway to South Asia

(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’21) – China has said Mar 5 that it will help the local Tibet Autonomous Region government to build an important...

Local ‘Tibet’ gov’t to spend 190 bln yuan on transportation projects

(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’21) – Building roads and later on airports and railway lines has been particularly important for China during its invasion of...

Dalai Lama gets his first Covid-19 jab

(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’21) – Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, received the first dose of his Covid-19 vaccine this morning....

Covid-19 has caused more mass trauma than WW2: WHO chief

(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’21) – The spread of the Covid-19 infection which became a global pandemic because China brutally suppressed information about its outbreak...

Three Tibetans held for not registering WeChat group, one in hospital with both legs broken

(TibetanReview.net, Mar04’21) – For failing to register with local authorities a WeChat group they had setup in mid-February, China has arrested on...