TikTok Newsletter 71
One day, when the world is set to right
🇺🇦 The TikTok War
TikTok is an important place to watch regarding the entire Russia/Ukraine conflict. I have written about #TankTok in #69 and about the Swedish War Panic in #67. Now Axios reports about “The TikTok war”. Quote: “Videos of Russian troops massing on Ukraine's borders are being widely disseminated on TikTok, giving the world an unprecedented view of what's happening on the ground ahead of a potential war.”
It is true that there are a lot of eyewitness videos on the platform. No wonder, given the fact that TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in Russia, with a monthly reach of more than 40 million people, according to research company MediaScope (ABC News). Nevertheless as Tama Leaver tweets “the article needs more contextualisation”.
The Washington Post for example has a good article with a lot of TikTok examples here: The TikTok buildup: Videos reveal Russian forces closing in on Ukraine. And then there is an Insider-article with this interesting quote: "Ukrainian officials have warned that these videos do more to promote Russia's campaign to destabilize Ukraine by causing panic."
Besides providing and checking out actual OSINT infos Gen Z is using TikTok to understand and document tensions between Russia and Ukraine (ABC News). Using amongst others the Hashtag #War2022 (8.1 M Views). The Vladdy Daddy Meme (Know Your Meme) – used to address Vladimir Putin as a male authority figure or idol in a sexualized manner, often ironically – has been revived on TikTok begging Putin not to start WW3 over the crisis in Ukraine. Not sure if this is the way these things work.
🖍️ TikTok Content Moderators
TikTok has a big problem with community guideline violations. And it remains unclear how many content moderators work for TikTok. We only know of cases where moderators sued TikTok over 'psychological trauma' (BBC). That is what i wrote in #70. Luckily Chris Stokel-Walker shed some light. Quote: “They've said (admittedly not recently) but 10k. And they said in UK parliamentary testimony that there were 363 working in the UK (out of 800) as of Sept 2020.” Thanks!
The FT has a story on TikTok poaching content moderators from Big Tech contractors in Europe. TikTok has scooped up hundreds of content moderators from companies such as Accenture, Covalen and Cpl, according to a Financial Times analysis. Social media competitors like Facebook have outsourced their content moderation efforts to some of these firms. (Protocol).
At least 190 moderators previously working through contracting companies have joined TikTok since January 2021, FT reports. And TikTok is constantly searching for new content moderators. In Berlin, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Moscow, London, Seoul, Sao Paulo and many more. Some jobs include the word ‘live’. TikTok Live has obviously implemented moderators to help users have a friendlier experience when going live too (Distractify). I would love to talk to some content moderators about their jobs. If you know someone who is willing to talk. Please let me know.
You may or may not have heard about Dehenna Davison. She is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament (MP) since the 2019 general election. Oh, and she is a “TikTok MP”, a social media star and probably the future of the Tory party. At least according to this article in The Times, a british centre-right newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch.
The thing is that compared to other MPs (e.g. @zarahsultanamp) or other TikTok users in general Davisons’ following is far away from being spectacular (1845 Followers, 2944 Likes) as many others have pointed out (@fatuma, @sophiasgaler).
You probably have not heard about Robin Alexander if you are not from Germany. He is deputy editor in chief of Die Welt, generally considered to be conservative. Alexander ranted about a bunch of young new members of parliament in Berlin disgracing (blamieren) Berlin Reichstag.
One of his examples is SPD-politician Verena Hubertz. Alexander is particularly mad about a TikTok video Hubertz posted on the official SPD TikTok account. Here it is. I have watched it several times now. I just do not get the disgracing part. If you can find it, please help me out in the comments.
Meanwhile, here is a TikTok campaign video by Congresswoman Val Demings running for U.S. Senate (79,2K views). Not sure what Robin Alexander thinks about that one.
+ Kyle Banks is an Indie game developer, currently making Farewell North, a game about restoring color to the world. He shares some nice TikTok insights in a thread.
+ Are you an Empath? Or “pretending” to be an empath. Anyway, read this article by Charlotte Colombo for Dazed.
+ In case you were afraid. No, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are not banning astrology and tarot content (Insider).
+ What is shitposting. And what is a shitposting aesthetic on TikTok. Lucie Chateau knows.
+ Queer people are finding love on TikTok. Says Mashable. All you need, etc.
+ The memory of the Holocaust is being more and more influenced by TikTok. Haaretz-article featuring Tom Divon.
+ TikTok emerges as venue to 'deconstruct' Catholic theology. Found this article via a Google Alert that brought me to the National Catholic Reporter. Of all places.
+ A lot of people started tweeting their real or imagined age after seeing this article: Why is TikTok so scared of 30? I am 17.
+ And here is a short and simple one: How to add the echo effect. Please do.
+ Yet another Twee article. Twee TikTok is just the latest simplification of an ever-evolving aesthetic (Pitchfork). Okay, here are some of my favorite Twee oldies.
Another Sunny Day: Anorak City, You should all be murdered. The Field Mice: When you need someone. Brighter: Does love last forever. Heavenly: Atta Girl.
Speak soon. Ciao.