Bytedance algorithm training content scraping

Occurred: April 2022

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TikTok parent company Bytedance scraped content from Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms and used them to train the algorithms of Flipagram, a TikTok predecessor, according to a Buzzfeed report.

Former employees and internal documents reveal Bytedance took hundreds of thousands of short-form videos, usernames, profile pictures, and profile descriptions without the knowledge of their owners or the social media platforms on which they had been posted.

Two employees told Buzzfeed the scraped content was later used to train the US version of TikTok's 'For You' recommendation algorithm. 

Bytedance denies the allegations.

Operator: ByteDance/TikTok/Flipagram
Developer: ByteDance/TikTok/Flipagram
Country: China
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Recommend content
Technology: Content recommendation system
Issue: Privacy; Copyright
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: April 2022