Contents of TikTok:

In the US, doctors use the TikTok platform to inform adolescents about health and fight against rumours and misinformation on controversial topics such as immunization and reproductive health of women, sometimes meeting a great success.

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During the Covid-19 pandemic in India, a large number of TikTok videos denying the dangerousness of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus for Muslims and calling for the refusal of health measures such as wearing a mask are identified. This prompts the Ministry of Information Technology to ask TikTok to remove such information and identify the authors, also addressed to Facebook where similar content circulates. TikTok responds by saying that it is working actively with the government to fight against disinformation, while promoting “credible” content on Covid-19 on its platform. In July 2020, TikTok announced that it had deleted 29,000 videos containing "false information" on Covid-19 in Europe, including 3,000 whose targeted content belonged to the medical field. In order to inform its users about the pandemic, the application displays a banner giving access to information.

In May 2020, the French government announced a partnership with the platform to disseminate prevention and information messages as part of a general campaign against violence against children.

In June 2020, the platform announced that it had signed the European Union Code of Good Practice on Hate Speech and Disinformation

Business model of TikTok:

If Douyin has a buy button and generates a lot of income through online commerce, this is not the case with TikTok, which in 2019 was looking for a business model. The online store is testing partnerships with clothing brands Uniqlo and Hollister. At the end of 2019, the platform decided to turn to advertising for its market, offering several advertising formats already offered elsewhere by the platform. Advertisers, like the candy brand Haribo, also pose challenges of the type that are ubiquitous on the platform, recruiting influencers for this purpose. In 2020, the platform begins to introduce online commerce directly into the app with a “shop now” button.

In July 2020, TikTok announced a content creator compensation program called the “Creator Fund” with a planned budget of $ 200 million. The program would be reserved for major creators with a minimum number of subscribers and videos published. This selection mechanism aims in particular to avoid remunerating controversial creators, as was the case for YouTube, thus limiting the risks of bad publicity for the platform. Faced with the success of TikTok, Facebook is offering paid partnerships to TikTok influencers to migrate to the new Reels feature of its Instagram platform, where they are called upon to publish exclusive content 

Platform vulnerabilities

In January 2020 the company cybersecurity Check Point reveals several serious security vulnerabilities in the application, which allow partial remote control application through the sending of a false SMS, leaving exposed personal data. In particular, they are successful in posting and deleting videos, making a private video public, approving a subscription request, and retrieving private information such as email or user “wallet” content. The flaws were corrected in December by TikTok, Check Point having warned platform.

In April 2020 two researchers criticize the application for its use of the protocol HTTP without encryption rather than the more secure protocol HTTPS in its content delivery network (CDN). This choice improves the performance of data transfer, but would endanger the privacy and security of users. An attack called the interceptor (or man in the middle) is therefore possible, in which an interceptor could notably obtain personal data on the user's activity such as the videos viewed, and have a fake video viewed on a real account to users connected through the same router, which could be used for disinformation purposes. The attack could be carried out by public wifi network managers, VPN operators, internet service providers, or government agencies (especially intelligence). By creating a pirate server, the authors substituted fake videos for some users on the accounts of the WHO, the Red Cross and the official TikTok account. They recommend the implementation of HTTPS, which is the standard in iOS and Android, insisting that TikTok is one of the most used applications in the world and that the use of HTTP should be an exception.

Legal actions and regulatory investigations on TikTok



In January 2020, following bans for American soldiers to use TikTok, the Australian Ministry of Defence indicated that the application was not allowed on its work phones, without giving a reason. The department had previously banned the Chinese messaging app WeChat, and in 2018 the Australian government banned the use of devices from Chinese manufacturer Huawei in its 5G telephony infrastructure for national security reasons.

United States

In December 2019, the US Naval Forces, then the Army, ordered their soldiers to uninstall the Chinese application from military smartphones for cybersecurity reasons. The Army leaves them free to use the app on their private phones, but warns them against unsolicited messages and inquiries. The armies are then followed by other federal administrations of the country linked in particular to diplomacy and security. The Democratic Party recommends that its officials and campaign teams do not install TikTok and delete their account and the app if they do. In July 2020, he clarifies his instructions for personal phones and recommends installing the application on a separate phone if the team is campaigning through the platform. The Republican Party asserts that such a recommendation has existed for a long time within it . At the end of July, Joe Biden's presidential campaign team banned its members from using the app on their private and work phones, citing security reasons.

In August 2020, President Donald Trump announced the upcoming ban on TikTok in the United States, citing risks of espionage. Microsoft makes a proposal to the president to buy the American branch of TikTok. On August 22, 2020, TikTok announces its intention to file a complaint against the United States government, in order to challenge the executive order signed by Trump.


In April 2019The Madras High Court asking the government to temporarily prohibit the application, accused of "promoting pornography" and show the "inappropriate content", also noting that children who use the application would be exposed to sexual predators. The Court also asks the media not to broadcast videos from the platform. The Supreme Court refused to stay the order, and the Ministry of Information Technology asked Google and Apple, which run to withdraw their TikTok application store Google Play and App Store. TikTok issues a statement claiming that this ban harms "freedom of speech" and laments that it or its parent company ByteDance was not viewed, and claims to have removed around 6 million controversial videos. A few days later, following a request by ByteDance to the Supreme Court, the High Court of Madras annuls the provisional ban, on the condition that pornographic videos are no longer added. This ban could have cost up to 15 million users to the application, then growing in the country.

In June 2020, the government listed TikTok, whose 120 million Indian users represent the largest market for the application, on a list of 59 Chinese applications (including the game Clash of Kings, and social networks WeChat. and Weibo) prohibited. The platform is accused of "stealing and smuggling" the data of Indian Internet users on servers located outside the territory. The Ministry of Information Technology says the decision aims to ensure "the security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace." TikTok India reacts by denying having communicated information about its users. The move comes amid military tensions between India and China, two weeks after a deadly clash between the armies of the two countries in a disputed region of the Himalayas.

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