TikTok announced earlier this year that it is creating a research API to increase access to anonymized and public data about content and activity within its app.
The company now says that it is ready to make a beta of its platform-research API and has asked its Content and Safety Advisory Councils members to test the API.
TikTok stated in a blog post, “To start, we’ve asked our Content and Safety Advisory Councils members with expertise in misinformation and violent extremism and emerging technologies to test an initial version of our platform research API.” They’ll be able to access public data while we collect their usability and overall experience feedback. We are committed to listening and incorporating testers’ feedback and creating an API that meets the needs of scientists while respecting privacy.
TikTok stated that researchers needed an easier way to evaluate the content or run tests on their platform at the time of its initial announcement. This is why it created a research API.
TikTok is also developing a content moderation API. In the coming months, more details will be shared by TikTok. API for moderation will be available as it allows select researchers a way to evaluate TikTok’s content moderation systems and scrutinize existing content on the app. Researchers will also be able to upload their content to see how many types of content are permitted, rejected, or passed to moderators for further evaluation.
TikTok updates on its API research work amid renewed calls by Brendan Carr, FCC commissioner, to ban the app. Carr had suggested this idea before. However, after BuzzFeed News revealed data improprieties in internal communications, Carr wrote to Apple and Google in June, calling the app an “unacceptable security risk” and asking them to remove it from the app stores.