Unlike other people software, TikTok did not become a worldwide success by connecting people with friends and relatives. Its mission is to “promote art and promote happiness,” which is far removed from Facebook’s goal of “bringing the world together.” The program’s central feature, is For You Page algorithm, strongly recommends videos based on user preferences, not if they were promoted by someone they know. But lately, things seem to be changing for the better.
While TikTok has so far been the app you would expect to avoid frustrated uncles, old friends, or co-workers, the platform is now trying to connect users with people who already have a relationship outside of the platform. Eight TikTok users told WIRED that over the past few months, the program has begun encouraging them to follow real-life people. It has also been a common complaint among the most loyal TikTok, raising concerns about privacy in ways that the program uses to get to know those who know them first.
“The security and privacy of our community is paramount and we provide a wide range of privacy preferences and other features that help people change their experiences on the program for fun and enjoyment,” TikTok said in a statement.
Alex, a 27-year-old resident of Queens, says that one night earlier this year he looked at his TikTok credentials and was shocked to discover that his father had followed his reputation. He was immediately arrested, but the matter was not serious, for he often wrote articles about homosexuality, something his father did not know about at the time.
Alex says: “When I first thought of going to see him again, I realized that I had been wrong. His background includes his name, but he still thought his father’s risk of noticing was small due to the way TikTok worked. “To my surprise, they found me because of our different beliefs and tastes. I didn’t think the algorithms would show him my videos, so I wasn’t worried about him getting my reputation, “says Alex.
Although her father may have been desperate for her, he probably did not need to. Like most social networking sites, TikTok allows users to find people they know by syncing their phones or Facebook contacts. If you provided a phone number when registering and registering your 16-year-old experience, TikTok will automatically “show your account to your contacts,” depending on the app’s password preferences. If someone has your number – and you gave it to TikTok – they can only get your profile once you sign out.
TikTok needs permission to access your contact list, but two users say they did not realize they were joining the session until a WIRED reporter asked them to take a look. “I make it a point not to do so,” says Michael Waters, a Brooklyn-based secretary, says Michael Waters, who lives in Brooklyn. Number of people on Twitter also claimed that he was secretly connecting with TikTok.
There are also ways in which TikTok knows who you know in real life. Basically, the app promotes your reputation “for the people who connect with you.” This includes users who follow or are followed by the same accounts, just as Facebook encourages people with similar peers.