Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok is totally stripped of information like when a video was uploaded or the date a user opened their account. The app presents an endless stream of algorithmically chosen videos, which you swipe through vertically. But there’s no way to discern when any of them were posted. Tap on a user’s profile and their videos will appear in reverse chronological order, but they only display view counts. Sites like Facebook and Twitter prioritize recently uploaded content. But TikTok, named after the sound a clock makes, has no time for time itself—a decision that ripples across the entire platform.
Consumer surveillance cameras are everywhere now, and they’re capturing moments we otherwise would never have known happened.
As the 2020 deadline approaches, China’s Social Credit System still remains largely in development. There are some signs, however, that the system could soon incorporate more forms of data collection. For example, Chen says, the China Credit website already encourages users to log in by scanning their faces, though it’s not mandatory. “So there will be a facial-recognition element if the government can persuade people to use that more,” she explains.