SCIENCE & TECH: TikTok CEO vows to spend $2B on protecting US children
TikTok’s CEO pledged to spend $2 billion on protecting children and the other 170 million US-based users who use the popular video-sharing app.
TikTok boss Shou Chew plans to spend the 10-figure sum on trust and global safety at the company, which has a team of more than 40,000 working on those efforts, according to Bloomberg.
Chew is expected to reveal more detailed plans about how the funds will be used in testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he’ll join CEOs from Meta, X, Snap and Discord to explain about their respective companies’ track records in protecting young users.
Chew also has plans to highlight a number of policies regarding teen users that he says are unique to TikTok, Bloomberg reported, including that users under 16 on the app are barred from sending messages, and their videos cannot be downloaded or recommended to people to whom they aren’t already connected.
Those age 17 and younger, meanwhile, have a pre-set screen limit of 60 minutes before a password is required to continue watching.
TikTok also uses technology to review public content for prohibited material, including sexually explicit images of children, as stated in Chew’s prepared testimony, which was obtained by Bloomberg.
Chew also plans to let the committee know that the third-party tools the app uses to moderate its direct messages — PhotoDNA and Take It Down — will stay, Bloomberg reported.
Representatives for TikTok and its corporate parent, ByteDance, did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Chew’s appearance at Wednesday’s congressional testimony marks the second time the 41-year-old will appear before the committee.
Chew sought to assuage concerns with a similarly handsome, $1.5 billion investment in an initiative called “Project Texas,” in which the firm pledged to shift all US-centric data to servers maintained by tech giant Oracle.