TikTok develops new APIs in push for more transparency
Despite being one of the most popular apps on iOS and Android, TikTok has had a lingering problem. The issue doesn’t stem from the app itself but instead comes from bans due to perceived security risks. Because of this, TikTok has made efforts to keep things as open as possible. Now, it takes things a step further, expanding its transparency initiative.
As part of its new initiative, TikTok is currently in the process of creating a research API that will give researchers easier access to data on its platform. The public data will be anonymized and include details about content and activity on TikTok. The company has also completed work on a moderation system API that will allow researchers to check TikTok’s content moderation system. Not only will researchers be able to examine existing content, but they will also be able to upload their own content to see how the moderation system reacts. These APIs are expected to arrive towards the end of the year and be available to selected researchers.
More APIs coming soon
In the past, the firm has made efforts and launched Transparency and Accountability Centers. These centers allowed experts to access the app’s moderation and recommendation systems. Despite the pandemic, the company has hosted guests virtually. The company has also published quarterly reports about its platform and established Safety Advisory Councils formed of independent figures in several regions including the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and more. TikTok will also grant its Safety Advisory Councils access to the same forthcoming APIs.
While having a strong backend can be important, it is also imperative to give users control too. Because of this, TikTok has offered its users ways to filter content and other tools, giving them more control over the things that they see on its platform. Although these tools can be important and the effort is commendable, it still might not be enough to quell those that think there is a security risk by using the app.