If your eyes aren't quite aligned and your cheekbones are so jagged they've effectively turned your head into a mace, there's a good chance your no doubt spectacular contributions to the TikTok community were suppressed to make way for beautiful people. That's because TikTok is a Chinese-owned app that presents itself as a fun Gen Z version of Vine, while actually being an ingenious dystopian tool that let China put its ironfisted government rule directly in the pockets of people all across the world.
The Intercept got their hands on some of the meme-generating powerhouse's internal documents and found that the company told its moderators to suppress videos made by users they deemed too ugly or disabled. But it's not just uggos; looking too poor could also get your video suppressed. Luckily, it's harder to determine your credit score based on your looks but with just a glance, everyone can tell you look like an opossum that died shrieking in a deep fryer.
It's a demeaning tactic that a TikTok spokesperson said they don't do anymore and that it was "an early blunt attempt at preventing bullying." None of the documents mention bullying at all, but do explicitly mention using such censorship tactics to draw in new users by making people think the app naturally attracted the rich and thirst-inducing. And since you chose to download it, well, golly, that must mean you're beautiful, too, despite having a hangnail on your face.
The documents go on to reveal that it wasn't just discriminating based on looks, they also suppressed videos of people who spoke out against the Chinese government and those of people who spoke ill of the police. TikTok has positioned itself as the premier destination for recording yourself doing trendy dances for the attention you desperately seek while, at the same time, inadvertently supporting totalitarian government rule. The future is rad ... If you're a seven or better.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!