TikTok Continues to Refine Content Policies in Response to Various Concerns

TikTok is certainly the up and coming platform, and is a perfect marketing tool to reach younger audiences. However, because of its appeal to a younger generation, there are potential issues with content moderation and policies as it moves to the mainstream social media sector.

An alarming discovery was made about a policy that limited the reach of content posted by users with disabilities, including users with autism, down syndrome, or facial defects. This was an attempt to protect said users who are “more susceptible to harassment and cyberbullying”, however, it made their content reach a much smaller audience on purpose. TikTok claims this was in response to bullying on the app, however, it was then discovered the same policy/algorithm was applied to videos of users who appeared to be “self-confident and overweight, or homosexual”. This problematic policy was in place until September this year.

Other problematic regulations came from the app’s owners and bosses in China. This included a user being suspended for posting videos condemning the Chinese government’s oppression of Muslims. There have also been concerns raised by Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute, claiming TikTok has been used to further Beijing’s political agenda. Questions have been raised about the platform’s ability to succeed while under the strict Chinese content regulations, and these problematic implications.

The application has dismissed its claims of censorship as miscommunication or misunderstandings, but the examples are undeniable. TikTok has repeatedly claimed the US-based content is independent, however if this is true, there needs to be solid documentation supporting it is not governed by Chinese regulations, and that posts will not be taken down or tampered with.


Social media influencer gets 14 years in prison for plot to ‘hijack’ website at gunpoint

A social media influencer is charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence in Iowa based on an attempt to hijack a domain name. The influencer, Rossi Adams, ran a Snapchat and Instagram brand depicting college students of Iowa State during drunken antics, and other crude behavior. The submissions contain the hashtag #DoItForState, which is the domain name Adams has been after since 2015. He tried to negotiate with the domain owner for several years with no prevail, so he took to drastic measures more recently.

Adams and his felon cousin conspired to break into the mans home, and demand the domain name by all means necessary. Adams drove his cousin to the domain holder’s home, where he held the victim at gunpoint demanding the domain name. The victim then gained control of the gun despite being shot in the leg, and then shot Adams cousin and notified authorities. Now, Adams is facing 14 years in federal prison, and a number of court fees.

This news item is so shocking, because it shows the importance media and fame portray in the current climate of society. The measures people will go to to just potentially increase their brand is disappointing in my opinion. It is sad to see people get hurt and throw their whole lives away over a GoDaddy website name.



Twitter recently released a statement that they would be taking down inactive accounts in effort to enforce their inactive account policy. However, this upset many users, who had accounts of deceased loved ones in mind. There was an uproar of rebuttal from these users, who want to memorialize the inactive twitter accounts of the deceased, much like Facebook has the ability to do. Twitter responded to the backlash promising they too will come up with a compromise to memorialize said accounts, and they are currently working on a resolution to the problem.

They clarified the reason why they need to enforce their inactive account policy, and that it would be starting in the EU due to local privacy policies Twitter must follow. The Global Data Protection Regulation is the driving force behind the enforcement of this policy, to delete any data they are not using. By cleaning up inactive accounts, Twitter analytics will be able to provide more accurate, credible information derived from data.


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Spotify’s metadata allows the platform to draw conclusions about the music of the year, and the decade as 2020 approaches. Called the “Wrapped List”, the data driven summary reveals the artists and music that has defined 2019, and from there, the most streamed music from 2010 to now.

Post Malone has taken the cake for the most-streamed artist of the year, upon the release of his latest album and contribution to the song “Sunflower,” which was released for the Into the Spiderverse movie. Billie Eilish is the second-most-streamed artist of the year, upon her release of her Grammy-nominated album titled “When We Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?”, which was streamed over 6 billion times.

Other noteworthy artists include Drake, who was the top-streamed artist of the decade, and Ariana Grande is the top-streamed female artist of the decade. Camila Cabello and Sean Mendes’s “Senorita” was the top streamed song of the year, and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was the most streamed song of the decade.

This derived data shows media companies and the music industry trends over time, as well as the artists that are up and coming. It is also thanks to the data algorithm you are able to review your personal statistics of your own profile, allowing you to learn about your own listening patterns as the decade went on, and what you enjoyed most this year.

Star Wars TV Series ‘The Mandalorian’ Drives Higher Demand For Disney+


With the release of Disney+, fans are taking to review the streaming services’ creative content. Of these options, the Star Wars series called “The Mandalorian” has distinguished itself, and has driven consumer demand higher for the streaming service.

Metrics and analytics point to the demand being at least over three times its initial release, and this data regards “The Mandalorian” as the driving force behind this demand. The television show ranks itself with 39.9 million demand expressions, which is placed 3rd among all digital television series.

The metric, however, should not be confused with subscriber numbers however. Another factor is that Verizon is promoting a deal that allows its users to have a free year of Disney+, making it hard for derived data of tell much about the streaming service’s subscribers. The release and success of the series further proves the point of the demand for creative self content by services, and the demand for it among users of other services.

Top Ten November TV Advertisers Spend 10% More In 2019


With the holiday retail season quickly approaching and now among us, television marketers are spending peak bucks to adversities. The biggest names are among the same every year, however this year, spending is up 10%. This increase in expense can be accredited to a broader audience, the amount of airings and creatives, or unrelated reasons.

The biggest national spenders include Geico, followed by Verizon, then Walmart, Progressive, and T-Mobile. State Farm, Target, Amazon, AT&T, and finally Allstate pulling in at number ten. These are the main contenders of top TV marketers every year, however the spending is up 10% from previous years.

Twitter Launches New Option to Follow Specific Topics, in Addition to User Accounts


Twitter is now beginning to feature an additional option to follow topics, allowing for more user engagement and tweet discovery across the platform. Once a user follows a topic, the tweets will appear on timelines like those of the people they follow. The new feature also may match you with other topics you may like based on those you follow and engage with.

Over 300 topics will be released and available for users to consume, the subjects varying. One thing that Twitter topics will not cover yet is politics. The platform is staying away from the subject considering how sensitive the unintended consequences could be.

The topics will be curated from machine learning algorithms and human editors. The platform is not relying on algorithms alone, which is a smart move considering they are not always reliable in determining what content is relevant to users or topics. Another helpful addition to the new feature could include being able to share tweets to the people involved in the topics, rather than with all of their followers.

The only way to tell if the new option for topics on Twitter will succeed is to wait and see the reaction of the users, and to see if it falls flat like previous introductions of new features to the platform.

Twitter Will Ban All Political Ads, C.E.O. Jack Dorsey Says

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made an important decision in terms of the social media platform by banning all political advertisements. Dorsey believes the spread of fake news and political advertisements jeopardize democracy. This is in contrast of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on the issue, who claims Facebook will continue to receive and promote political ads, regardless of their truthfulness or falsehood.

Dorsey claims political messages should “be earned, not bought”. Responses to this decision have been mixed, while Conservatives are outraged and Democrats are in favor. Trump’s campaign manager claimed it would be a major negative decision for Twitter’s stockholders, which has since been refuted, claiming the lack of political ads will not significantly impact the outlet’s revenue. Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez concluded that if social media outlets are not going to run basic fact checking on the political ads, they should not be allowed to be posted at all. I agree with this statement, especially considering the widespread misinformation on Facebook for profit and the impact it has on polarizing our country in particular.

Even when Twitter did allow political advertisements, it required verification of the advertisers. The ban will not impede on free speech, which can include toxicity. Another challenge Twitter will experience will be distinguishing what ads will be considered political or not. Twitter’ defines political ads as “advocates for or against legislative issues of national importance,” and this would be including immigration and health care. In my opinion, this will not be entirely detrimental to the spread of information to the masses, but will inhibit the payment for the spread of this information or bias.

I believe Twitter is making an important step on the attack on fake news in this country, and is setting the precedent for other outlets to consider what they can do to stop the spread of misinformation to no longer compromise democracy.

Roku stock jumps 10% as company adds Apple TV app


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The media company Roku is experiencing a rise in stocks after the release of an Apple TV application available on their streaming device. This speaks volumes to the influence Apple has as a media company as well, and how highly anticipated their Apple TV+ streaming service may be.

The streaming service will be available Nov. 1st, and at a lower subscription price than its competitors. Based on the jump in stock when Apple TV was added to Roku, it is obvious Apple and Apple TV are popular and valuable to the growth of companies that it converges with, showing the dominance Apple has in the media market.

Because of this, Roku will be experiencing a rising in popularity, as other media outlets predicted either way. Roku is an affordable and practical way to consume media via television, and to be able to access all of your subscription platforms. The device and its partners allow for convenient viewing via online streaming.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of Apple TV+ release, and the impact it has on other streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, and how it affects the purchasing of streaming devices like Roku. The release is right around the corner, so we will be able to see the market trends and result very soon.

Facebook teams up with police to stop streaming of terror attacks


In response to the recent Christchurch terrorist attack, Facebook and other social media outlets are teaming up to prevent such shootings to be broadcasted on the platform’s live streaming feature.

Facebook is getting Metropolitan Police involved by using their first person cameras to train their AI algorithm to detect terroristic actions. The cameras will be used in their firearms training centers, so Facebook’s artificial intelligence will have the data and technology to detect violent behavior, and alert officers more quickly.

The Christchurch terror attack was the turning point in which social media outlets decided there needed to be a change within the systems, as 51 were left dead, and footage was viewed over 4,000 times before being removed. The delay was due to the AI not having enough first person footage of violent shootings to be able to detect it properly and quickly. With the implementation of training, Facebook will be able to automatically remove the videos and help aid officers in locating and responding to attacks. This will also diminish the glorification of such acts, considering the shooters oftentimes want to be recognized and people to talk about the videos.

Overall, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites are taking steps in the right direction to improve its safety features, and the initiative will begin in October. Personally, I think this is a great idea because it will no longer allow viewers to magnify the streams, regardless how horrifying they think they are. I chose this article because I think it is relevant to the current state of our country, and how media plays its’ role.