Report Says TikTok Has Child Pornography And Chinese Espionage Problem

The popular social media platform TikTok, owned and operated by Bejing-based ByteDance, is rife with child sex abuse material, according to a Forbes report.

The article says that explicit content depicting minors engaging in sexual acts is often embedded within seemingly innocent advertisements.

“They typically read like advertisements and come from seemingly innocuous accounts. But often, they’re portals to illegal child sexual abuse material quite literally hidden in plain sight—posted in private accounts using a setting that makes it visible only to the person logged in,” reads the report.

The illicit material can be viewed in “post-in-private accounts,” which predators access using certain phrases to avoid bypass algorithms and avoid detection.

Child sex abuse survivor and children’s safety advocate Seara Adair shared with Forbes her belief that “black screens” are being used to outsmart the platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

“There’s quite literally accounts that are full of child abuse and exploitation material on their platform,” began Adair. “Not only does it happen on their platform, but quite often it leads to other platforms – where it becomes even more dangerous.”

Forbes further reports that some of the “post-in-private accounts” are easy to enter, while others require image contributions to be granted access.

TikTok has “zero tolerance for child sex abuse material and this abhorrent behavior which is strictly prohibited on our platform,” wrote spokesperson Mahsau Cullinane in an email sent to Forbes.

The company maintains that all videos and direct messages go through the platform’s AI moderation, adding that human review is also available if necessary.

Brendan Carr, 1 of 5 commissioners for the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios that the U.S. is incapable of regulating possible data breaches at the hands of China.

“Commissioner Carr has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner,” said a TikTok spokesperson to Axios.

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