Oracle is reviewing TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation systems

Oracle has been scrutinizing TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation models to ensure Chinese officials are not interfering with them. TikTok is in the process of moving all the data it has on US users to the country-based Oracle cloud storage. Oracle’s audit is said to have started last week after TikTok began routing all new traffic from US users through Oracle’s systems.

A spokesman said axios that the reviews examine how TikTok’s algorithms — the app’s secret sauce — inflate content “to ensure that the results are as expected and that the models have not been tampered with in any way.” Engadget has asked Oracle for clarification on what is meant by manipulation in this context. On the moderation side, Oracle will regularly investigate TikTok’s practices regarding automation and human content reviewers.

In 2020, the Trump administration attempted to push through a sale of TikTok to a US company. Former President Donald Trump tentatively agreed to a deal that would have seen Oracle and Walmart run the American side of the business, but that didn’t materialize.

Meanwhile, TikTok has committed to more transparency, trying to convince regulators and lawmakers that US user data is safe. CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote in a recent letter to nine Republican senators that TikTok is “working with Oracle on new, advanced data security controls that we hope to finalize in the near future.”

The senators asked a question about engineers from TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, who are involved in designing the app’s algorithms. “ByteDance engineers around the world can assist in the development of these algorithms, but our solution with Oracle ensures that training of the TikTok algorithm occurs only on the Oracle Cloud infrastructure and also provides adequate security review and validation of the Algorithm secure by third parties.” Chew wrote in his reply.

In June, BuzzFeed News reported that China-based ByteDance engineers had repeatedly accessed non-public data on TikTok’s American users. Chew said these employees would only be able to access such information if “robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols monitored by our US-based security team” are in place.

The report led to Brendan Carr, the senior Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, urging Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores. Amid the scandal, TikTok’s global security chief resigned last month.

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https://www.engadget.com/oracle-tiktok-algorithms-content-moderation-review-171742979.html?src=rss Oracle is reviewing TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation systems

Russell Falcon

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