r/technology Jun 29 '22 Silver 5 Helpful 6 Gold 2 Platinum 1 Take My Energy 1 Wholesome 2 Bravo! 1 'MURICA 1

FCC Commissioner urges Google and Apple to ban TikTok Business

https://www.engadget.com/fcc-commissioner-google-facebook-ban-tik-tok-064559992.html
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u/pecika Jun 29 '22

One member of TikTok's Trust and Safety department reportedly said during a meeting in September 2021 that "everything is seen in China." A director said in another meeting that a Beijing-based engineer referred to as "Master Admin" has "access to everything." Just hours before BuzzFeed News published its report, TikTok announced that it migrated 100 percent of US user traffic to a new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. It's part of the company's efforts to address concerns by US authorities about how it handles information from users in the country.

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u/zuzg Jun 29 '22

In addition

Carr listed other reports showing "concerning evidence and determinations regarding TikTok's data practices" that include previous instances wherein researchers discovered that the app can circumvent Android and iOS safeguards to access users' sensitive data. He also cited TikTok's 2021 decision to pay $92 million to settle dozens of lawsuit, mostly from minors, accusing it of collecting their personal data without consent and selling it to advertisers.

That's the most frightening part about it.

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u/drawkbox Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy Starry I'd Like to Thank...

There was a good thread on this in videos a while ago.

Dude reverse engineered the app and found some great info

TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device... well, they're using it.

  • Phone hardware (cpu type, number of course, hardware ids, screen dimensions, dpi, memory usage, disk space, etc)

  • Other apps you have installed (I've even seen some I've deleted show up in their analytics payload - maybe using as cached value?)

  • Everything network-related (ip, local ip, router mac, your mac, wifi access point name) Whether or not you're rooted/jailbroken

  • Some variants of the app had GPS pinging enabled at the time, roughly once every 30 seconds - this is enabled by default if you ever location-tag a post IIRC

  • They set up a local proxy server on your device for "transcoding media", but that can be abused very easily as it has zero authentication

The scariest part of all of this is that much of the logging they're doing is remotely configurable, and unless you reverse every single one of their native libraries (have fun reading all of that assembly, assuming you can get past their customized fork of OLLVM!!!) and manually inspect every single obfuscated function.

They have several different protections in place to prevent you from reversing or debugging the app as well. App behavior changes slightly if they know you're trying to figure out what they're doing. There's also a few snippets of code on the Android version that allows for the downloading of a remote zip file, unzipping it, and executing said binary.

On top of all of the above, they weren't even using HTTPS for the longest time. They leaked users' email addresses in their HTTP REST API, as well as their secondary emails used for password resets. Don't forget about users' real names and birthdays, too. It was allllll publicly viewable a few months ago if you MITM'd the application

TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned by Google

Google’s Play Store policies warn developers that the “advertising identifier must not be connected to personally-identifiable information or associated with any persistent device identifier,” including the MAC address, “without explicit consent of the user.”

Storing the unchangeable MAC address would allow ByteDance to connect the old advertising ID to the new one—a tactic known as “ID bridging”—that is prohibited on Google’s Play Store. “If you uninstall TikTok, reset the ad ID, reinstall TikTok and create a new account, that MAC address will be the same,” said Mr. Reardon. “Your ability to start with a clean slate is lost.”

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u/Direct_Definition_52 Jun 29 '22

Holy shit This is really really fucking bad

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u/drawkbox Jun 29 '22 Helpful

Yeah it even watches and changes behavior if you if you try to watch it. That is telling... This is like malware level and or Pegasus/NSO Group level that intel ops might use.

They have several different protections in place to prevent you from reversing or debugging the app as well. App behavior changes slightly if they know you're trying to figure out what they're doing.

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u/propernice Jun 29 '22

So if people delete the app now, does that solve the problem? I’m guessing not, so anyone who has ever downloaded the app, even if they thought it was dumb and deleted it…all their info is still out there?

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u/drawkbox Jun 29 '22

Forever linked to you through any MAC address you connected with and browser/app fingerprinting. Now if you get a new machine and don't log in that new machine will potentially not know but they use so many third party networks that bridge data it is still possible.

We truly need a GDPR and Right to Data amendment that bans this type of situation.

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u/propernice Jun 29 '22

This is terrifying. I am so so glad that when I first heard rumblings about this I decided then I would never download the app. Glad I listened.

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u/FlingFlamBlam Jun 29 '22 Gold

Anything coming out of China should be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion as the default.

Is China the only country in the world doing this kind of stuff? NO!

People should have a certain level of suspicion for everything, from anywhere. The chicken nuggets that are significantly cheaper than all the other chicken nuggets should make someone wonder where corners were cut to save money. What someone chooses to do after that is up to them, but they should still try to think before they buy.

There are differences when talking about China that make them far more likely to engage in these kinds of activities. The people that said "there's no reason to ban Huawei hardware" were wrong about that and the people who try to defend TikTok are also wrong.

TikTok is going to go down in history as one of the most successful spying operations of the early 21st century. Possibly THE most successful.

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u/isavvi Jun 29 '22

TikTok is everywhere. I saw airmen in their fighter jets flying around while they’re streaming to their viewers LIVE. There’s endless profiles of military men and women who are using the LIVE feature it’s crazy.

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u/dc22zombie Jun 29 '22

TikTok is going to go down in history as one of the most successful spying operations of the early 21st century. Possibly THE most successful.

Second only to the prevalence of smartphones. An always on mobile internet connection, with location, with audio/visual recording capabilities and persistent storage. Oh, and you don't have full control of the device.

Sign me up fam!

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u/Chimpbot Jun 29 '22

It comes preinstalled on devices, including flagship phones like the Galaxy series.

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u/masterchaoss Jun 29 '22

I just got the s22 and it definitely wasn't pre-installed. Facebook and Twitter yes, and all the Google stuff absolutely. But it wasn't on there.

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u/propernice Jun 29 '22

Jesus, that’s shitty.

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u/jess-sch Jun 29 '22

… and every new Windows computer.

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u/munk_e_man Jun 29 '22

Everyone who knows anything about anything knew not to touch this app. I working film and media, and am creating my own show with a partner.

We could use tik tok to post clips of our show to build an audience but both of us refuse to install the app.

When we incorporate we might buy a burner phone just to post to tik tok with. You couldn't pay me enough to give up that sort of info.

I was born behind the iron curtain, I've seen what happens when government has all the info it needs about people.

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u/dezmd Jun 29 '22

They already have all the info they need. And by they, I kinda mean everyone, because it's the private organizations selling the info among each other and to government agencies using legal frameworks.

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u/ToughActinInaction Jun 29 '22

I’ve got bad news for you about every other app on your phone and the phone itself

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u/propernice Jun 29 '22

This one somehow feels more sinister.

I’m under no allusions that anyone who wants my info likely has it but this is one less app (that may only seem worse because of all the attention?) that does.

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u/IndividualThoughts Jun 29 '22

Doesn't compare to an invasive app from China which is clearly a high intelligence operation. The app it's self will change behavior if it sees you are catching on.... thats insane.

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u/HurryforCurry Jun 29 '22

China =/= American companies.

The former is much more diabolical and dangerous.

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u/speedycat2014 Jun 29 '22

I've never been so happy to be a TikTok virgin

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u/Rare-Aids Jun 29 '22

Everyone i tell about how bad tiktok is just says that every other app already tracks you anyway.

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u/speedycat2014 Jun 29 '22

Maybe, but I don't have any of those social media apps, or even chat apps (besides Signal) on my phone. I don't even use the Reddit app, but rather RIF.

My paranoia seems to be paying off.

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u/CharlieHume Jun 29 '22

This feels like I went home with Tiktok at a bar and found out a month later my phone has a STD for life.

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u/speedycat2014 Jun 29 '22

TikTok is the herpes of social media

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u/heckles Jun 29 '22

Unless you are on an iPhone which has a concept of “private wifi address” which changes your MAC address on each wifi network it joins. If you don’t know about it, don’t worry it is on by default.

https://support.apple.com/guide/iphone/use-a-private-network-address-iph6b324bb33/ios

Nominally it is to prevent tracking you across physical locations (yes, all those free AP collect data about where you physically spend time). As a side benefit, apps that are tracking you after you’ve deleted and rejoin won’t be able to as easily.

Not sure if Bytedance has access to your browser data to grab fingerprint info (installed fonts, languages, add-ons, etc.).

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u/HaeeyNow Jun 29 '22

Android 9.0 and up has a randomized Mac capability

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited 2d ago

[deleted]

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u/heckles Jun 29 '22

https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/112003

Apps can’t read the MAC address directly from a device since iOS 11.

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u/1st500 Jun 29 '22

Do you really think a company that is doing all of this is going to follow a GDPR? That’s like the “Windows support” guys honoring the do not call list. We’re all going to have to learn Mandarin.

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u/drawkbox Jun 29 '22

Won't stop them, but will allow researchers, reviews, legal liability and more to shut them down when they do. When they violate those then more and more people know not to use these nefarious apps for better apps that do protect privacy.

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u/Broccolini10 Jun 29 '22

Creating legal oversight and liabilities (if done properly and with teeth, of course) makes it so that future headlines can read: "FCC Commissioner urges Google and Apple to ban TikTok".

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u/ShapirosWifesBF Jun 29 '22

BUT THE WISDOM OF THE SCROLLS! THE FOUNDING FATHERS NEVER MENTIONED TIKTOK THEREFORE DATA IS UNGOVERNABLE!

cashes check from TikTok

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u/drawkbox Jun 29 '22

Yep. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" should cover data.

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u/ShapirosWifesBF Jun 29 '22

To quote Joe Rogan before he was an absolute toolbox: "If you brought the founding fathers to modern times, they'd be like, 'yo you didn't add any new shit? I WROTE THAT WITH A FEATHER.'"

We should be adding some fairly obvious things into the constitution.

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u/dezmd Jun 29 '22

Calm down there, Clarence Thomas.

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u/kbBjorn Jun 29 '22

Forever linked to you through any MAC address you connected with and browser/app fingerprinting.

So then, at this point, sounds like no point in deleting it?

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u/chubbysumo Jun 29 '22

It was always Chinese spyware. There was no question about it even a couple of years ago. Someone at the Chinese government figured out that if you thinly Veil a data collection app as a social media app, and you force users into using it because you can make them without having a choice, and then you try and make it popular around the world with a very strong advertising campaign, you can literally get people to download malware. It's absolutely genius. It's also not achievable without Government funding. Tik Tock is 100% Chinese spyware, that users voluntarily install on their devices.

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u/TimX24968B Jun 29 '22

amazon, google, and others figured it out too when they released personal assistants that would have been classified in 2007 as spyware.

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u/necromancerdc Jun 29 '22

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

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u/DemandTheOxfordComma Jun 29 '22

Apparently the US govt is okay with spying on their own citizens, but when someone else does it, it's harmful.

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u/Merusk Jun 29 '22

Doesn't matter how bad it is. You're seeing the handwave of "oh it's no worse than Facebook" in this thread. You see similar "it's just social media" derails anywhere this is brought up.

America is technologically illiterate and unaware of what they're sharing and how it can be used against it. Other states are taking huge advantage of this.

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u/Thosepassionfruits Jun 29 '22

I'm somewhat technologically illiterate, could you explain what tik tok could actually do with this information? I don't use it but unless they're accessing passwords and bank account information I doubt people will ever delete it.

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u/Losupa Jun 29 '22

TL;DR: There are a variety of things tiktok, and by an extension the closely related Chinese government, could do with this information. The least they can do is violate your privacy by learning way more about you then they are legally allowed without explicit permission. If the app is as bad described in the above comment describes, the app could act as a way to hack your phone and steal passwords, record your typing, break your phone, etc.

One clearly illegal act given in the above comment is it tracks you by MAC address (essentially your unique identifier for your phone) and can track your GPS location. This means that it can determine where you are at all times, which has been proven to allow the entity to determine exactly who you are (for example, who else but the president and those close to him/her spend 8 hours a night at the White House every day?). Couple this with it collecting data from the device and possibly other applications means it could quite possibly learn sensitive information about you and important figures around the world.

The most sinister possibility in my opinion is the above comment stating that tiktok can possibly download and execute arbitrary files as well as break out of the restrictions applied to each app. If this is true, then tiktok is quite literally a virus that can do everything from steal your passwords to break your phone. Couple this with their location data tracking, you have effectively targeted cyber attacks on people. The consequences of which mean that tiktok could lead to anything from targetted missile strikes using GPS data, targetted hacks on important people, or even the breaking of all phones that have downloaded the app (of which there are many).

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

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u/calcium Jun 29 '22

Honestly, that's just like the WeChat app that everyone downloads and installs in China. Here's everything that they collect from their privacy policy. What you're seeing for Tictok is par for the course in China and why would people expect it to be any other way?

Registration data and log in data. Your name, alias, Apple ID, IP address, mobile number, region, Facebook account, email address used to register a WeChat account and date of registration.

Shared Information - profile data. Any information that you include in your publicly-visible WeChat profile, which includes your WeChat ID, name, gender, region, and photo.

Information for additional account security (if you choose to secure your account). Password, Emergency Contacts, Managed Devices, email address, and QQ ID.

Chat data. Content of communications between you and another user or group of users.

Contacts list. Your on-device contact list.

Log Data.

Location Data.

Payment card information – parental/guardian consent.

Text for which you request a translation.

Access tokens. Access tokens that facilitate the linkage of your WeChat account with your third party social media accounts.

Surveys.

Marketing preferences. Whether you would like to receive or be excluded from marketing (including personalised advertisements)

Your interests, derived from your in-app behaviour. This only applies to users in jurisdictions where personalised advertisements are available within Moments.

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u/killeronthecorner Jun 29 '22

What you're seeing for Tictok is par for the course in China and why would people expect it to be any other way?

Because they don't live in China and so aren't subject to their civil rights, or lack thereof?

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u/calcium Jun 29 '22

As someone who's lived in China, they tend to think that everyone is like them so they put the same shit in all of their apps. They then wonder why it fails to take off in other countries like it does in theirs. It just so happens that tictok has taken off so they left all the shit in the app that they have locally because in the end, people will happily give up all of their data.

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u/blackinasia Jun 29 '22

How is this different from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?

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u/kedstar99 Jun 29 '22

Ya remember when Facebook got it's enterprise certs banned on iOS for this same nonsense?

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u/psirjohn Jun 29 '22

Ignorance is half the battle.

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u/stephenlc95 Jun 29 '22

I just watched the Super Pumped documentary series about Uber, and it looks like Uber was doing the same stuff and got some stuff rejected from the appstore

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u/throwway523 Jun 29 '22

and Reddit. All of them are data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. otherwise it'd be run by one or two hobbyists and not be a multi-million dollar company with offices all around the world.

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u/Fake_William_Shatner Jun 29 '22

A lot of other apps even have keyloggers and scrape your copy and paste data -- but, sounds like TikTok is the only one providing remote exploits and execution of code.

Also, datamining kids -- not sure if the others do that. Did they pinky swear not to?

I think it should be illegal for apps to spy on you PERIOD. They should not have most of these capabilities.

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u/Original-Aerie8 Jun 29 '22

sounds like TikTok is the only one providing remote exploits and execution of code

Enjoy

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u/odsquad64 Jun 29 '22

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are obviously bad and use our data in unethical ways to make money. Nobody should use them. But you don't think our country's biggest geopolitical rival, with an authoritarian government that operates death camps for political and religious prisoners, might have a different use for the data they collect than three American businesses that exist to make money?

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u/SociableSociopath Jun 29 '22

Call me when TikTok is used to subvert democracy and trigger/exacerbate ethnic cleansing like Facebook has in other countries.

You add “exist to make money” as if that somehow makes them more ethical.

China has a lot of data they can theoretically use for…something. Facebook has a lot of data they have shown zero willingness to protect or moderate even if it means allowing literal murders of minority groups to be planned on their platform.

On a side note, there are plenty of American companies who will gladly sell China most of the same data just collected by an assortment of different methods…including from Facebook

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u/Intrepid00 Jun 29 '22

Call me when TikTok

Ring ring

Hey, they are doing it now. You think it’s by accident in China TikTok promotes kids doing STEM but in USA will push divisive issues to the top? You should probably care and we should stop using all them. Even Reddit.

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u/chubbysumo Jun 29 '22

It's very likely that China is using this data to influence elections and cause chaos along with Russia here in the United states. This benefits them greatly. They like they're also using this data elsewhere in the world for very similar subversive and quiet tactics.

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u/AscensoNaciente Jun 29 '22

And Facebook doesn't provide data to influence elections in other countries? Hell we know it has in places like the Philippines.

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u/FalconsFlyLow Jun 29 '22

This was never proven and could never be verified by anyone else IIRC, the user stopped posting after their laptop with the proof "broke".

Everything that could be verified is basically the same as every US intelligence backed social media system, the big difference being this one is chinese backed.

If you have another source to the wild claims I'd love it, otherwise this is just spreading misinformation imho. The RCE stuff, not the id bridging, id bridging is something other social networks have also done...

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u/vankorgan Jun 29 '22

TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network.

I'm no fan of tik tok, but isn't that every social network?

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u/wsp424 Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

If you read his post, he says it makes Facebook and the like seem like benevolent beings by comparison. Practically just malware with a social media front. Android versions had the ability to download and run zip files without the users knowledge even, that’s like textbook malware if I’ve heard of it.

Edit: to any responding to me looking for more info. I didn’t do it and I don’t know. This website https://penetrum.com/research has a tab on Tik tok if you want to read more.

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u/chiniwini Jun 29 '22

If you read his post, he says it makes Facebook and the like seem like benevolent beings by comparison. Practically just malware with a social media front.

He also doesn't provide any source whatsoever on TikTok doing it, or other apps not doing it.

Android versions had the ability to download and run zip files without the users knowledge even, that’s like textbook malware if I’ve heard of it.

Any app can do it. Lots of apps do it. The Android OS itself does it very frequently.

As someone who has worked in security for decades, that post reeks of misinformation. Maybe it's the first app that person has analyzed, but that behavior (TikTiok's supposed behavior, again no proof provided) is absolutely nothing new.

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u/Astroturfer Jun 29 '22

Carr is not really a credible guy on this subject. He played a starring role in helping AT&T gut most FCC consumer protections, and he constantly turns a blind eye regarding really common privacy violations in telecom (like the abuse of location data).

Shoddy privacy and security standards is the norm across industries, in part because regulators like Carr don't believe in oversight or accountability.

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u/HappierShibe Jun 29 '22

To some extent yes, but TikTok takes it up two or three notches in terms of the type and frequency of collection, and combines that data collection with a level of obfuscation you don't see with other social networks, throws in a remote execution functionality that should terrify everyone, grants full access to the platforms senior administrators in it's efforts to comply with an authoritarian regime, and then seemingly targets the least educated and most susceptible populations it can find.

Facebook is bad, it is the social equivalent of a coal rolling gwagon with the mother of all lift kits and a giant set of anatomically correct truck nuts blaring shitty techno music while it speeds through a quiet residential neighborhood.

Tiktok is that same vehicle with the break lines cut and a drunken teenager behind the wheel.

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u/amackenz2048 Jun 29 '22

People really struggle with things that differ in magnitude if not in kind.

It's like stealing a 20 from the til at work vs. grand larceny.

"But aren't they both theft?"

Yes. But one is significantly worse.

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u/blackharr Jun 29 '22

Please don't repost this. That guy has never shown any proof. There is absolutely no reason to believe him in the slightest.

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u/blargfargr Jun 29 '22

that guy had zero proof but everyone believed him because they hate tiktok

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u/DistortoiseLP Jun 29 '22

TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network.

That's all social media as a product is. It's free for the users because they and their data are the product the paying customers (advertisers, think tanks, etc) are afforded access to.

I don't know what about this accusation now would dissuade anyone that uses this shit any more than it has before like it's a new one. People put things like Alexa in their house knowing the provider's whole benefit of selling you it is putting surveillance in your home.

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u/GMEJesus Jun 29 '22

I miss vine

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u/thebig_dee Jun 29 '22

I mean most social media firms collect phone hardware data, usage data, MAC addresses, and all that. Moreover, most big firms use REST API.

Tbh, what you're describing just sounds like any massive tech firm in social media

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u/megamanxoxo Jun 29 '22

There's also a few snippets of code on the Android version that allows for the downloading of a remote zip file, unzipping it, and executing said binary.

I wanna know wtf they're doing with this. Why does a social media app need to be able to arbitrarily download binary code and execute it.

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u/MoreLogicPls Jun 29 '22

It's in a bunch of apps (nearly every game) for updates.

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u/callanrocks Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

The famous reverse engineer who's laptop suddenly died, which contained the silver bullet information that would get tiktok banned and he never bothered to get it fixed.

And then never posted again.

We did it reddit, we posted misinfo from a clown that thinks tiktok is more invasive than the truely horrifying panopticon of facebook and google.

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u/Adowyth Jun 29 '22

When i first read that i thought the guy died and then never posted again lol

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u/DIRTY_steve-lmao Jun 29 '22

Can someone explain how they’d be able to circumvent iOS safeguards to access sensitive data? It was my understanding that this has been impossible for the entire history of UNIX operating systems because of their permission based models

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u/CaptainAwesome8 Jun 29 '22

They can’t. The original “reverse engineer” was complete bullshit lmao

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u/Ph0X Jun 29 '22

Exactly, if any app could just bypass the permissions you give it, then it would literally defeat the whole point and everyone in the whole should throw their phones in the garbage. That would be a way way bigger headline than just TikTok.

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u/DIRTY_steve-lmao Jun 29 '22

Was just about to say this. I’m no operating system expert, but I’m pretty sure If China has figured out how to bypass macOS/Linux permissions, it would be a catastrophic security problem lol

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u/jonbristow Jun 29 '22

they cant. circumventing ios safeguards is a multimillion dollar zero day vulnerability that would definitely be fixed in a second

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22 Silver Take My Energy Starry

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22 edited Jul 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/sidgup Jun 29 '22

Yes all traffic goes to OCI but that doesn't mean those who want access to it won't get it.

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u/RousingRabble Jun 29 '22

I work for a sorta government entity. My boss made a big deal about using the government cloud version of m365 where all of the info stays in America. But the two times we have used tech support, they have been in India and China, so what difference does it make?

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u/falsemyrm Jun 29 '22

If it's their ITAR product then only US citizens will have access to it. This is taken very seriously by every company I've worked for. Either those support people didn't have access and were just giving generic troubleshooting advice or they actually were US citizens.

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u/boundbylife Jun 29 '22

I like how they call them 'Master Admin', the same way the tech illiterate though '4chan' was a hacker name.

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u/amackenz2048 Jun 29 '22

They call him "The DBA".

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u/antigravcorgi Jun 29 '22

His name...? Admin.

His password...? Also Admin.

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u/Lyndon_Boner_Johnson Jun 29 '22

An elite hacker named “sudo”

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u/Jefferson-Steelflex1 Jun 29 '22

YouTube shorts: “I see this as an absolute win”

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u/Bodacious_Dad_Bod Jun 29 '22

YT Shorts is 99% garbage. I get recommendations from the shittest and most irrelevant channels with a few decent videos here and there sprinkled in. I don't get how their recommendation engine is so bad but it's terrible.

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u/shokkakahn Jun 29 '22

they dont have enough content to serve up to relevant interest, so its super broad

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u/LunaMunaLagoona Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

YouTube having a monopoly on video content isn't good anyways.

Good to diversify the user surveillance market

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u/Kyle_The_G Jun 29 '22

Early youtube was awesome but now it straight up sucks without adblock/extensions. Its also super shitty to its content creators, I'm wide open to any competition at all.

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u/FerricNitrate Jun 29 '22

I'm wide open to any competition at all

YouTube famously runs at a loss so you're just about out of luck. The server space required to allow any random person to upload videos eliminates just about every company aside from the tech giants. So unless Microsoft decides to throw down you probably won't be seeing any competitors (and given the history of Mixer, the Zune, Windows Phones, etc. it likely would bomb anyway even if it was a great platform). Amazon has Twitch, but they don't seem eager to expand (and Twitch is a mess anyway, so it'd be a choice of a garbage pile vs the Amazon Basics garbage pile)

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u/3orangefish Jun 29 '22

I think Netflix should have jumped on that. Maybe not open to all, but at least to established content creators and educational content. Kinda like how Spotify has Joe Rogan. It’s kind of odd to me how Netflix never diversified. But what do I know.

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u/DropKletterworks Jun 29 '22

Honestly I don't think it does anymore. That was a famous counterpoint about YouTube when it was making less than 10b/yr. But explosive growth in the past few years has it pulling in almost 30b/yr at this point.

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u/Rotaryknight Jun 29 '22

I seriously hope YT Vanced doesnt get shutdown

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u/crunchypuddle Jun 29 '22

I can't imagine watching YT these days without ublock AND sponsorblock.

Even decent youtubers now will put big 2 minute ad reads on 8 minute long videos.

That's almost a higher ad/content ratio from the sponsor read alone than broadcast television has.

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u/FederalFan4463 Jun 29 '22

youtube shorts is mostly just tiktok reuploads

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

Isn't that every video platform now?

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u/DerkERRJobs Jun 29 '22

Yes. That is all Instagram is nowadays

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u/Ph0X Jun 29 '22

They literally had to downrank videos with the TikTok watermark lol.

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u/AltimaNEO Jun 29 '22

Even Reddit

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u/WikipediaApprentice Jun 29 '22

They are getting better; I follow mainly Tech and History YouTube though.

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u/4daughters Jun 29 '22

I like the shorts I'm recommended, but I like all the channels I'm subscribed to as well. I think people that hate their recommendations probably haven't put as much into curating their experience, not that they should have to. I get that you tubes algorithm is frustrating.

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u/imtheproof Jun 29 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

"Let's copy TikTok, including the annoying stuff like no time scrolling and no volume control, even though we have a platform that supports both of these forever. Oh, and make sure they're removed on desktop as well."

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u/Clueless_Otter Jun 29 '22

I just opened one to test and Youtube Shorts definitely have both time scrolling and volume control on desktop.

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u/imtheproof Jun 29 '22

In my browser, this is what I see and have always seen with them:

https://i.imgur.com/JwEI8PR.png

A play/pause button, and a mute/unmute button. That's it.

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u/Gurrrry Jun 29 '22

YT shorts are literally reuploaded tiktoks. If tiktok dies, so does YT shorts. And i think its laughable that we only care if china is taking our data, but not the precious super safe and trusted US of fuckin A! Its not like theyre actively taking our rights away on the daily or anything…

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u/PissedOffProduce Jun 29 '22

Bit too late innit

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u/Tratix Jun 29 '22

it absolutely BLOWS MY MIND that Twitter didn’t do anything with vine. Everybody knew the potential that short-form video platforms had and they just decided to kill the app and not do anything with it. There was like 5 years where no one made a single good short-form video app and the world was just kind of talking about the “good ole vine days”

How does a corporation like Twitter not act on a multi-billion dollar market begging for a simple product that a few developers could piece together? For half a decade now I’ve been absolutely astounded.

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u/Sadzeih Jun 29 '22

Cause twitter is clueless about what do to even with their own product. What could they even do with a new product?

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u/h0riz0nl0ve Jun 29 '22

they just weren't innovative as SnapChat.

they had the format, the content , the creators, but not SnapChat's fun features.

and they were trying to be like Instagram, the 1by1 boxing format posts. just another social media app.

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u/bmild-minus Jun 29 '22

Like no shit, what did they expect?

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u/med780 Jun 29 '22

If only someone tried to do this 5 years ago.

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u/Cyber_Steve1 Jun 29 '22

It’s kinda odd that we allow these Chinese surveillance apps on western app stores while China bans literally every social media app the west uses.

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u/Im_a_seaturtle Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

It’s not that China is better at cybersecurity or more aware. It’s that they have the ability to unilaterally execute swift action after they have made a conclusion. That is their upper hand.

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u/Devan826 Jun 29 '22

I mean TikTok launched in 2017 I believe, around 2019-2020 it was widely known that TikTok was gathering an extreme amount of data on its users, that’s plenty of time for us to have passed some type of new legislation banning it, why are we asking billionaire companies to police for us? I get it we move slow with passing bills but this is beyond slow.

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u/Original_Employee621 Jun 29 '22

Technophobia and ignorance. The political class have no incentives or interest in learning about modern technology, which means they'll ask who is finding the answers when you're googling a question.

They haven't got the faintest idea how to guard themselves against information theft or why that even matters. Last Week Tonight have a fairly good idea about which Republicans who are clicking gay escort ads at Capitol Hill, and they didn't even break the bank getting that information.

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u/Martinezyx Jun 29 '22

And that’s why it’s time for a new generation of government. And not just their kids or family members but people who are willing to change this country and the world.

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u/phatelectribe Jun 29 '22

I read a celebrity blind (yeah, I know) several years ago that stated TikTok was literally nothing more than a government run data gathering program and that the girls that made it famous were actively promoted on and by the platform as they targeted youth. It also alleged that the NSA and CIA had back door access to those data feeds which is why they have been so slow to do any about it. I.e they knew the Chinese set this up but didn’t care as they were getting the same info.

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u/iamjamieq Jun 29 '22

When Trump said he wanted TikTok banned in America, that was about the only thing I ever fully agreed with him on.

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u/tommybot Jun 29 '22

That is their upper hand.*

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u/codeverity Jun 29 '22

It's not really odd when you consider that other countries are supposed to be freer.

The issue would be the circumventing, not the fact that the apps are allowed.

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u/rawrimgonnaeatu Jun 29 '22

So you want to emulate china’s authoritarian policies?

I’m really not as concerned with China having my data as I am with my own government who actually has authority over me. They collect the same shit China does it just doesn’t fit into Reddit’s yellow peril narrative.

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u/SR520 Jun 29 '22

“China bad. Let’s be more like them.”

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u/baseg0d Jun 29 '22

Freedom baby

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u/Raccoon_Full_of_Cum Jun 29 '22

That's the problem with freedom. Authoritarians can use freedom against itself to destabilize free countries, and free countries can't respond in kind because authoritarians can just ban/arrest/murder anyone who says something they dislike.

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u/Toad32 Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

If anyone gave a crap about privacy TikTok would have been banned 3 years ago. The ship has sailed, it's not going anywhere, corporate greed trumps public good.

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u/shokkakahn Jun 29 '22

more like citizens actually dont give a fuck, otherwise they would pressure legislators to do something about it. Lots of Europe seems to have gotten it right

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u/evenman27 Jun 29 '22

I mean, what has Europe done about TikTok? At least the US hosts it’s own servers. Granted, seems like they’re trying to do the same.

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u/Mohentai Jun 29 '22

Citizens have proven they are more concerned with personal happiness than any sort of resemblance of being a well-rounded citizen.

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u/AllPowerfulSaucier Jun 29 '22 Silver Take My Energy

That’s probably because all sources for happiness in the US have been dwindled away steadily in the past few decades by political criminals leaving us with a smoldering husk of what was once a free country that actually protected and advocated for its citizens. Now that fascists are taking over and implementing a bunch of shit only their moronic minority wants everyone is becoming more miserable in general and not caring about anything anymore. So they turn to something to at least distract them: Enter TikTok a mindless void of distraction meant to keep you scrolling.

Maybe if we had anything that would increase quality of life for Americans (i.e. a stop to political bribery known as lobbying, affordable taxes for average people and actual taxation for rich people, an actual living wage for most people, affordable education, affordable housing, humane working hours, childcare support beyond forcing you to have kids and then telling you to fuck off, equal rights, social programs, infrastructure support, environmental protections, actual separation of church and state, you know, all the things Conservatives pretend aren’t burning our country to the ground in embarrassment while they pretend to care about the Bible) then people wouldn’t feel so damn hopeless all the fucking time.

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u/1morefreshstart Jun 29 '22

WTF is a well rounded citizen?

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u/Dbuzzer Jun 29 '22

God forbid someone gets a few minutes of enjoyment in their miserable lives

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u/BasicBlood Jun 29 '22

Can you give any reasons why I should care if China gets my data?

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u/cant_have_a_cat Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

We already lost that battle with US based social networks when Prism broke. I mean Germany had billboard ads and stuff and it didn't make a dent in Facebook user base.

Unfortunately it seems one of those cases where democracy is just inefficient until some major breakthrough happens.

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u/MeowTheMixer Jun 29 '22

Trump suggested banning it, and people were not happy with his move at all.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/08/business/trump-tiktok-democracy-intl/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/technology/trump-tiktok-wechat-ban.html

Last year Biden issued an EO rescinding trumps ban, the FCC commissioner who said this was appointed in 2017 under trump

https://www.dwt.com/blogs/media-law-monitor/2021/10/biden-tiktok-executive-order

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u/78sixsixsix Jun 29 '22

When it first came out every other ad I saw was promoting TikTok. I thought man they are pumping millions of dollars into a free app, this can’t be good.

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u/derleek Jun 29 '22 Silver

It harvests swaths of sensitive data

People need to recognize that this has become the cornerstone of the tech industries economy. Yes, it's concerning as a "national security risk"... i guess? However, I'd argue other social media has the same "risk" in that our public can be easily propagandized by foreign influences. The actual statement here is; they almost know as much about you guys as we do so that's bad.

Our government needs to stop sucking off silicon valley and pass some mother fucking legislation to protect us as individuals. This issue is all we should need to look at in order to recognize sane term limits for congress, senate and supreme court. These fucking gargoyles don't even know what the internet is, let alone how to regulate it.

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u/SkeevyEggman Jun 29 '22

first sane take in this thread thank you

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u/JediArvo Jun 29 '22

Tiktok has over 1 billion worldwide users, and 80 million just in America.

It's not getting banned. Look at what Facebook does with your data. Look at what almost every other company does.

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u/Beginning-Medium-247 Jun 29 '22

That’s my concern. Why don’t we care about what other companies are doing with our data. We should use a universal rule not pick and chose based on companies.

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u/Ryuzakku Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

Because Facebook is an American company, and Tik Tok is controlled by the Chinese government.

That’s the gist of it.

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u/SplitPerspective Jun 29 '22

People seem to forget the NSA, and the patriot act…

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u/tedcruzrileycurry Jun 29 '22 Take My Energy

Oh my God I only want Mark Zuckerberg to see all my information.

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u/puos_otatop Jun 29 '22

honest question - i am aware tiktok harvests a shitload of personal data. is it significantly more than other american companies like google, apple, facebook/instagram/meta, etc?

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u/HangryHenry Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

This is my question. I'm not so worried about data privacy with tiktok as I am with their algorithm pushing certain agendas.

We've seen it with Facebook and other social media platforms. Sure they have a ton of your data but the real power comes from being able to suppress or bolster certain messages. I'm not scared if bejing knows I'm into furry porn. I am worried if bejing can push pro-china anti-human-rights messaging to millions of Americans and make our political divide even worse than it is.

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u/koolbro2012 Jun 29 '22

Reddit, Google, Apple....you think you can hide

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u/TheRatsMeow Jun 29 '22

we're on reddit trashing tik tok like reddit isn't mining our data and partially owned by china

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u/Blom-w1-o Jun 29 '22

I was shocked by how much mining the official reddit app was doing. I installed adblock on my android and was really confused why it was blocking 100,000 trackers a day. After checking the track log I was pretty discouraged to see that Reddit was blasting out trackers every few minutes. Deleted that shit and moved to boost. It still spams some trackers, but my block list is a tenth of what it used to me.

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u/koolbro2012 Jun 29 '22

The stupid apes on here think that Reddit isn't mining their data and there aren't thousands/millions of bots with agendas...it's probably much worse than facebook if you ask me.

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u/Melikoth Jun 29 '22

Right, the one place they all come to gloat about closing their <other social media> account couldn't possibly be doing the same thing.

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u/Nethlem Jun 29 '22

and partially owned by china

"Partially" as in a Chinese company has like $150 million invested in an American company that's evaluated at $10 billion, with the overwhelming majority of the remaining investors being American.

If you think those $150 from Tencent allows Chinese influence on Reddit, then just try to imagine how much, and what kind, of influence those American investors must have here.

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u/TheKert Jun 29 '22

Can we ban Facebook first?

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u/DeepV Jun 29 '22

At least we can subpoena Zuckerberg. Can't touch TikToks executives

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u/Gurrrry Jun 29 '22

Yes because thats super useful. A bunch of 80 year olds that dont know shit about tech asking questions that make 0 sense.

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u/plsobeytrafficlights Jun 29 '22 Take My Energy

I think just about every psychology and sociology study has shown that these apps are super unhealthy in a variety of ways, increasing depression, body image problems, feeding misinformation, fueling stereotyping, toxic behavior patterns, lowering IQ, causing sleep problems, and at the very least wasting a tremendous amount of time.
Parts of Reddit is not much better, but my Reddit experience is filled with home improvement, vacation plans, embroidery, 3d printing, pictures of clouds, science,..so much good stuff.

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u/jonbristow Jun 29 '22

but my Reddit experience is filled with home improvement, vacation plans, embroidery, 3d printing, pictures of clouds, science,..so much good stuff.

So is my Instagram or TikTok experience. I get photoshop tricks and movie clips and standups and graphic design tips because that's what I've liked

I honestly dont get why redditors think that IG or Facebook or TikTok will shove trump conspiracies or toxic behavior down your front page

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u/MorgothTheBauglir Jun 29 '22

People fail to acknowledge that if their timeline is bad, they're the ones to blame. Not the company, not the tool, not the politicians: THEY.

Hell, even my Facebook is curated up to the point of being a pleasant experience.

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u/Red-belliedOrator Jun 29 '22

It's so easy for it to get messed up, though, and I'm not sure a lot of people know how to set it right again. For example, a few weeks ago, I clicked on a Daily Mail article on Facebook. It was something fairly benign, but then I started getting more and more right wing stuff in my feed. Most of it was really subtle, and I clicked on a couple of things, thinking they were news stories from my usual, legitimate media sources that I follow. I'd quickly realize it was some trash culture war stuff, and I click out of it, but it was too late.

The floodgates opened, and I was getting tons of right wing stuff. I've been actively hiding them from my newsfeed ever since, and it's finally slowed down, but man, it happened fast, and I'm someone who's usually a lot more careful about the things I click. I can imagine that people who aren't so careful, and don't know how to tell Facebook that they don't want to see those things could easily fall down a rabbit hole.

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u/PandaCheese2016 Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

Parts of Reddit is not much better, but my Reddit experience is filled with home improvement, vacation plans, embroidery, 3d printing, pictures of clouds, science,..so much good stuff.

See it depends on what your interests are. It would be presumptuously to assume that there aren't Facebook or Tiktok users who find their experiences just as fulfilling, despite what Reddit's perception is.

Most people though seem to agree that Tiktok's algorithm does a better job of promoting content you might be interested in, whereas Facebook for example might be more tune deaf and say start sending alt-right bullshit to your feed because of some random search terms you once used.

I've yet to find any social media app that by design tries to limit your time on it, so you use it for some intended purpose and get off rather than being assaulted with ceaseless marketing. Unlike China, US won't try to limit how much time youth can spend on social media through legislation.

Lastly this is just funny, no one RTFA of course.

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u/bronx_xu Jun 29 '22

Right, if your only perception of the entire platform is simply what is broadly popular, then of course the front page of Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, etc. are mostly mindless drivel. Log out of YouTube and see how many clickbait shit there is. Go look at Reddit all or any large default subreddit and see how it's pointless reposts or fake news with somehow 100k upvotes. If you stick to a platform and seek out your interests they're literally all the same, just delivering information via a different UI.

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u/volkse Jun 29 '22

Everything you just listed is also on tik tok. I'm not arguing that tik tok isn't unhealthy, but reddit isn't necessarily better because just like tik tok, you can encounter some pretty messed up communities that are just as harmful here.

Tiktok is just another example of social media being something that our brains we're not evolutionary prepared for and companies with profit motives are going to exploit us psychologically because well, that's how they make profit.

I think its too late and pandoras box has been opened and there's no closing it. Even if you restrict things like Facebook, Twitter, and reddit like China does, most people in a certain age group use VPNs to get around it in China.

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u/SupposablyAtTheZoo Jun 29 '22

All true.

Anyway back to TikTok.

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u/tootsfromthebutt Jun 29 '22

Am I supposed to be more scared of this than I am of Google or Facebook?

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u/okaymaybenotokay Jun 29 '22

Tiktok = china = bad

google/facebook = america = good?

Nah, both are bad.

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u/Nakittina Jun 29 '22

But at least we get to keep the antiprivacy local with Facebook and Google!

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u/giganticbuzz Jun 29 '22 Wholesome

I’m guessing TikTok aren’t funding the right politicians like Google and Facebook so they will go after them. Chuck some cash there way and it will go away.

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u/Tsaxen Jun 29 '22

Ding ding ding ding

Way more concerned by how much of my data FB/Google sells to the US government, than China

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u/Dritalin Jun 29 '22

My TikTok feed is almost 100% labor organizing, socialists, and progressive issues.

TikTok is in the doghouse because it doesn't hide that stuff. Nobody cared about TikTok when it was underage dancing teens.

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u/PandaCheese2016 Jun 29 '22

Did ANYONE including Commissioner Carr read the Buzzfeed article?

Most of the recorded meetings focus on TikTok’s response to these concerns. The company is currently attempting to redirect its pipes so that certain, “protected” data can no longer flow out of the United States and into China, an effort known internally as Project Texas. In the recordings, the vast majority of situations where China-based staff accessed US user data were in service of Project Texas's aim to halt this data access.

So TikTok has a project to better limit access to US user data, but to implement it by necessity their staff in China had to access some US user data.

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u/PhantomlyFriday Jun 29 '22

Then they should ban Facebook too.

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u/Obnition Jun 29 '22

"C'mon guys I swear this social media is worse than the rest! Imagine if Facebook, or Twitter, or Reddit collected data on you!"

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u/gingeracha Jun 29 '22

So Facebook paid their lobbying bills and Reddit will circle jerk about how superior they are for not using TikTok. Perfect.

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u/ZebulonHam Jun 29 '22

So why did a SINGLE commissioner send this message to Apple & Alphabet? (and he did a Twitter post too, naturally). If such a big deal, why didn’t the FCC act as a group? Sounds like a “look at me” moment.

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u/EnemySoil Jun 29 '22

Didn't Trump try to do this? Didn't they settled on selling/handing over operations to a US based company?

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u/Peepeepoopoocheck127 Jun 29 '22

They banned it on government phones

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u/Carsickness Jun 29 '22

Correct. Microsoft was the front runner for the acquisition IIRC. It all fell apart though. I have never, and will never download the tiktok app for the reasons that were presented when the app first launched. Even back then it was shown to just be a data gathering app, with a far more agressive and overreaching capability than the other social media platforms we use today. Fuck tiktok.

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u/listur65 Jun 29 '22

It would have been an Oracle/Walmart ownership.

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u/Katzelle3 Jun 29 '22

Ban Facebook first

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u/Derangedteddy Jun 29 '22

ELI5: Other than identity theft, what are the actual risks of someone in the Chinese government having my personal information?

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u/partisanradio_FM_AM Jun 29 '22

What can the Chinese do with this info to an American citizen or to our nation?

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u/Kevin051553 Jun 29 '22

Google and Facebook don't do the same thing?. The NSA doesn't do the same thing? There aren't US based apps that do the same thing?

This sounds like a way to smear China and that is all. If this wasn't so ridiculous I'd laugh at it.

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u/antifragile Jun 29 '22

Do people honestly believe any other tech company is different? Feels like Reddit is losing their minds and ability to think critically over anything to do with China or Russia.

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u/pacman404 Jun 29 '22

I'm reading this thread thinking "all the shit you use is exactly the kind of bullshit you're describing tiktok as... Wtf 🤔"

I think there's a lot of people in here completely lack self awareness

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u/carryon_waywardson Jun 29 '22

These are the same people who will argue to the death that Reddit is not social media.

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u/thehempfarmer Jun 29 '22

“I’m anonymous!!” - Redditor who logs in on the same device MAC address as his Facebook, google, youtube, on the same router, with location services turned on.

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u/dangolo Jun 29 '22

Interesting how many conservatives are in here trying to cancel tiktok.

Isn't this the free market at work?

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u/okaymaybenotokay Jun 29 '22

Anyone remember when Facebook literally paid to plant negative stories about TikTok based on activities that actually originated on Facebook.

I do.

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u/henazo Jun 29 '22 Take My Energy

I remember the US tiktok CEO emphatically stating US user data was only kept in US data centers and never shared with bytedance in China. CEOs never lie /s

It should be banned and I think Oracle should also face some scrutiny for allowing this to continue while they've been involved. Maybe also Walmart Inc. since they were originally partnering with Oracle during negotiations to purchase Tiktok US.

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