tiktok

TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance wants you to know everything is just fine, really

China-based technology company ByteDance is on a charm offensive, reports Reuters, ramping up efforts to distance its popular social app TikTok from the rest of its Chinese operations. Read the rest

US teen's TikTok video on China's Muslim camps (and beauty tips) goes viral

An American teenager's clever TikTok video managed to sneak in banned commentary on the topic of China's concentration camps and torture programs for Uighur Muslims. The teen's video was bookended with beauty tips, and went viral with 1.4M+ views and ~500,000 likes. Many copycats. China didn't like it. Read the rest

Teens making fun of their own sports bloopers on Tiktok is wholesome fun

I imagine that many of these videos were originally filmed by parents disappointed in the outcome, only to be rescued by teens who realized their failures could be spun into gold:

There's more sports bloopers under #highlightreel at Tiktok. Read the rest

With "OK boomer," millennials are killing intergenerational resentment

"OK boomer" is an all-purpose rejoinder for millennials and Gen Y/Zers who are accused by their elders of eating too much avocado toast, wanting a participation trophy, or of miscellaneous snowflaking. Read the rest

YouTuber, iced out of monetization, looks to China

Bart Baker is a YouTuber who specialized in vulgar videos and pop-star parodies, but his income withered when the site demonetized all the horrible things we didn't realize our kids were watching. So he's abandoning his 10m subscribers there to focus on conquering Chinese social media instead. Baker's even learned enough of the langage to pander to its nationalist vanities and bottomless consumerism, which Vice highlights in this 7-minute interview.

Now, Bart’s days start with live chat and song sessions with his millions of Chinese followers on Kwai, a Chinese social media app. Then, his Chinese manager sends him a Chinese song, which Bart translates into English, with the help of Google Translate. Hours later, Bart’s English version of the track is burning up the top ranks in Douyin (China’s version of TikTok).

Bart sees immense potential in the Chinese market, and has already announced that he is quitting YouTube. Meanwhile, his Chinese manager is concerned that Bart’s American persona could be trouble in China, if it isn’t properly handled.

I liked his boss in Shanghai, who knows two things: that westerners who can speak Chinese are a media gold mine, but also that it's likely they will eventually utter something offensive to Chinese authorities and get everyone involved in trouble.

Right now Americans are fascinated (and appalled) by how quickly the progressive ethics of large corporations (Apple, the NBA and Activision-Blizzard) are being switched off by Chinese power and money. But Baker is a sign of what's to come: American kids blathering in machine-translated Mandarin about the superiority of China, happy to humilate themselves for a little money and fleeting attention. Read the rest

Do you dare participate in this TikTok challenge?

Play YMCA (or some other song) with your friends, turn around, and see which face the camera focuses on.  There are plenty of compilation videos featuring people playing for minor rewards like loser buys dinner.  But as these clips show, some people have played for high stakes indeed:

(Via Taylor Lorenz.) Read the rest

Tiktok's internal policies are both weird and terrible

Tiktok bills itself as apolitical, despite the fact that is both a de facto arm of Chinese political propaganda (and, weirdly, for Uyghur human rights activists). Read the rest

TikTok bans political ads because they clash with its 'positive, refreshing environment'

Political ads to be banned on short-form video app

Zuckerberg: President Warren would "suck" for Facebook

In July, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg held two hour-long internal employee meetings to discuss the business's future; The Verge obtained the recordings of those meetings, which reveal, among other things, that Zuckerberg dreads the possible election of Elizabeth Warren (Warren has pledged to break up Facebook and its Big Tech competitors if she becomes President in 2020). Read the rest

Tiktok has become a vital tool for monitoring abuses against Xinjiang Uyghurs, but that's threatened by the company's new censorship rules

Tiktok (formerly Musica.ly) is the massively popular, $75b social media sensation primarily used for short lip-sync clips with high-precision choreography and endlessly inventive special effects and video techniques. Read the rest

Tiktok is valued at $75b, is spending $3m/day on US advertising, and in China, it has been turned into a state propaganda vehicle

It's been a year since Chinese social media giant Bytedance relaunched its super-popular app Musica.ly as Tiktok; the company is now valued at $75b, and in the USA it has become a serious challenge to US-based social media companies, courting a young audience (so young that it's getting into legal hot water over it). Read the rest

Teens are filling Tiktok with memes deploring #Life360, a parenting app that tracks teens

Life360 is an app that lets you track a mobile phone user in fine-grained, realtime detail, with options to set alert for things like "is this person exceeding the speed limit?" It's widely used by parents to track their teens, and this seems to be the summer where it comes into its own, with millions of families around the world relying on it to act as a kind of remote leash for their kids. Read the rest

To do in LA this weekend: laugh your head off at PUBLIC DOMAIN THE MUSICAL at the Hollywood Fringe

Last night, I went to see Public Domain: The Musical at the Actor's Company Theater in West Hollywood. I had no idea what to expect, but I was prepared for the worst (I've been to shows at fringe festivals where I would have walked out in the first five minutes, except I was the only person in the audience), and I was totally wrong. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Read the rest

Short videos of skilled and playful workers performing their jobs with acrobatic flair

Kaitlyn Reed created a Twitter thread of videos of (mostly Chinese) workers performing manual tasks with incredible acrobaticism, dexterity and flair; the videos were ganked from Tiktok, the massively popular China-based video platform that is mostly know in the west as a place where tweens make and share elaborately choreographic lipsync videos augmented with a suite of skillfully applied video effects. Read the rest

Read the full text of the Mueller report here, as redacted by Barr

Dems fight for unredacted report's release

A rapidly proliferating software license bars use by companies with poor labor practices

Katt Gu and Suji Yan's Anti 996 License allows developers to prohibit the use of their code by companies that do not adhere to basic labor practices (996 is a Chinese software industry term for shops where coders work 9AM-9PM, 6 days/week). Read the rest

Why are creators paying for TikTok’s mistake?

TikTok is an app that makes it easy for people to make short lip-synching videos, which unsurprisingly makes it a goldmine of creativity and memes. TikTok recently got in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission because it failed to comply with Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA requires online services that are either “directed at” children under the age of 13 or have knowledge that they have users who are under 13 to arrange for parental permission before they start collecting personal information about those users. Read the rest

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