New Documents Show TikTok 'Ordered to Filter Out Videos from Ugly, Poor, or Disabled Users'

When people ask why I hate or don’t use TikTok, it’s not just the userbase that I find cringy and unoriginal, it’s the people running the app. Stuff like this isn’t exactly unknown, reports are released all the time that their algorithm censors certain kinds of people or content…but recently, there’s been even more documentation for the argument.

Link to the article:

Essentially, TikTok moderators were told to filter out certain types of people from its algorithm according to documents received and incorporate it into the “For You” algorithm. Here are some takeaways from the article:

"TikTok moderators were told to suppress videos from users who appeared too ugly, poor or disabled, as part of the company’s efforts to curate an inspirational air in the videos it promotes, according to new documents published by The Intercept."

"The documents detail how moderators for the social video app were instructed to select content for the influential “For You” feed, an algorithmic timeline that is most users’ first port of call when they open the app. As a result, being selected for For You can drive huge numbers of views to a given video, but the selection criteria have always remained a secret, with little understanding as to the amount of automation involved."

"TikTok’s moderators were instructed to exclude videos from the For You feed if they failed on any one of a number of categories, the documents show. Users with an “abnormal body shape (not limited to: dwarf, acromegaly),” who are “chubby … obese or too thin” or who have “ugly facial looks or facial deformities” should be removed, one document says, since “if the character’s appearance is not good, the video will be much less attractive, not worth being recommended to new users.”

"Similarly, the documents show, videos were to be removed from the feed if “the shooting environment is shabby and dilapidated”, since “this kind of environment is … less fancy and appealing."

  • TikTok’s defense for doing so, they say, is to prevent “Bullying” on the platform, which I definitely think is an excuse. To prevent others from bullying should be community-moderated or through a comment-filtering system, not outright CENSORING disabled, overweight, or underclass users. Others theorize that TikTok is implementing China’s overseas censorship policies of “Uglification,” which I think are more accurate.

Bottom line. I don’t like TikTok. Byte is best :^).


I’ve heard of this practice before. Utterly disgusting.


Always love your essays!
Seems like TikTok needs to crash then…


Me: Jerry are you seeing this?



Explains a lot :thinking:


I can’t imagine creating & curating an ableist & vapid environment under the guise of “aN InSpIrAtIoNaL aIr”


I think “tinder” is doing the same to me. I never get any swipes in my favor - I guess I have to try “bumble” :joy:

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you see, that’s where Byte has the advantage…we’re ugly, poor AND disabled!


:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy: just for that, u should win the Nobel Peace Prize


Using @henryandemma’s post as an excuse to double post - while I never would had guessed that this was intentional, I noticed that there was a bias on the app for “rich kids” when I’d binge the compolations and noticed that all the teens on the app would always, without exception, have really, really fancy bathrooms.


Might be partial true - the algorithm on TikTok is based on many factors, and the heaviest weighted factor is completion/retention rate - so if a video is watch till end, it will tend to be pushed to more viewers and onto foryou age.

And u wonder why I said all that technical stuff- cause with social media, we tend to watch and like other people’s lives that are glamorous since it’s a way we escape our normal life - look at Instagram - the prettiest and most lavish content tend to do best - it’s just human nature.

Knowing this, u can do a lot to improve ur odds : better lighting, certain angles, and of course, content that retain their attention.

I’m the last person to say I’m good looking - but I do understand the rules of game and scale it to leverage our content :blush:

But I gotta say @AmericasComic, ur 2 replies had me rolling :rofl::rofl::rofl: :clap::clap::clap: