Bookmarked On TikTok, There Is No Time (Wired)

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.

Louise Matsakis discusses the way that TikTok is designed to be timeless with a never ending algorithm.
Listened The strange world of TikTok: viral videos and Chinese censorship – podcast from the Guardian

The Guardian’s Alex Hern tells Anushka Asthana about a series of leaked documents he has seen that showed the company’s moderation policies. They included guidance to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence and the banned religious group Falun Gong.

Anushka Asthana and Alex Hern discuss social video app TikTok. This includes unpacking the censorship associated with the algorithm central to the app. One of the challenges is that without the leaked documentation it is very difficult to know what has been blocked as videos are not actually removed, but instead they are not promoted by the timeline algorithm. This all comes back to timelessness of the app.
Bookmarked On TikTok, Teens Meme the Safety App Ruining Their Summer (WIRED)

The company may say its mission is to help families, but it’s also a business—one that is trying to grow. Life360 quietly went public on the Australian Securities Exchange in May. Its prospectus claims that the company has “amassed one of the world’s largest digital audiences of security-conscious family units” and has “deep insights into these Users in a way that was not possible before the smartphone. We know where our Users live, work, shop, drive and more.”

And the company is using that data to, well, sell car insurance. According to the company’s privacy policy, it shares your “personal information, driving event data, and other information,” with the risk-assessment firm Arity, which uses that information to calculate insurance pricing and “develop risk-predictive models for its own analytics purposes.” Arity is a subsidiary of the insurance giant Allstate, which is also an investor in Life360. In its prospectus earlier this year, Life360 said it hopes to soon offer US customers Allstate insurance plans that are customized based on how they drive. And why stop at cars? The company woos potential investors with grand plans of one day disrupting areas like general insurance, home security, elder care, and more. When Life360 detects you’ve moved, for instance, it could offer to sell you new surveillance cameras.

Louise Matgakig looks into the work of Life360 and the culture of surveillance that it supports. Although much of the reporting seems to be focused on teenagers response via TikTok, my concern is the business intent of the company to sell insurance. As Wired postulate in an opinion post:

Past generations were able to grow up without a digital record of their past generation, and the ones to come, will be held accountable to their inescapable online identities.

It would seem that with applications like Life360 children are becoming accountable for their offline identities too. This really makes me wonder if my parents had any clue where I was when I was growing up and the trust that was associated with this.

via Cory Doctorow