August 21, 2020
China’s ByteDance and its top-rated social media app TikTok are in turmoil in the U.S. as President Trump has threatened to ban the application if a merger with a U.S. company, namely Microsoft, does not occur by September 15th.
TikTok, a top-rated social media app and China’s ByteDance are in turmoil in the U.S. as President Trump has endangered to ban the application if a merger with a U.S. company, specifically Microsoft, does not occur by mid-September.
Trump has taken a very antagonistic attitude against the Chinese control of Tiktok, saying:
This effort, which happened after another primary TikTok market, India, forbidden the application, is also a mostly dual-party effort. Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), tweeted lately:
Such an acquisition could take time to close as ByteDance executives value the global TikTok at $50B according to a report from Reuters.
However, such an achievement could take time to close as ByteDance directors value the global TikTok at $50B according to a recent report.
TikTok focuses on the opposition with the U.S. Social Media
As this unfolds, TikTok has doubled down on opposing Instagram and other Social Media platforms. To preserve influencer and celebrity users, TikTok proclaimed a $2B “Creator Fund,” of which $1B is intended for U.S. creators.
By the end of last year, ByteDance also broadcasted a combined venture with a state-owned Chinese media group, Shanghai Dongfang, that focuses on using blockchain technology and A.I. to combat deep fakes.
Early this week, TikTok doubled down by openly prohibiting deepfakes. The general manager of the U.S. TikTok operation, Vanessa Pappas, wrote a blog about this issue stating:
The problem has lately been augmented due to concerns about diplomatically interested misinformation through deepfakes in an election year. One such deepfake of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made its rounds on Facebook earlier this year.
TikTok to use blockchain to combat manipulated videos
As of now, companies have used A.I. to root out celebrities’ deepfakes, but general videos need a better answer. And blockchain technology has been strutted as a possible key. The indication would be to digitally stamp videos right as it is recorded by a camera and store those stamps on a disseminated ledger. If deepfakes or other manipulated videos are uploaded to TikTok, their digital stamps would not occur on the distributed ledger and could, as a result, be identified and removed.
One more use of blockchain for TikTok would be in the expanse of digital rights. On a platform where “trends” are derivative by many users and shared, credit to the original creators of a “trend” can be effortlessly lost. Though many significant influencers work to find the originators of, for example, dance and give them credit in the captions of videos, there is no intuitive way to do this or even ensure that it does happen.
A dispersed ledger that ties data about the videos to users could be used to classify “trends” and attribute its creators. Similar to how music is tracked within the application, the other features of a video could be attached at the bottom of each TikTok as well.
The future of TikTok in the U.S. remains unclear. Its ban remains forthcoming, and it has less than a month to find a new U.S. owner. Even if Microsoft acquires it, its future remains unclear. Microsoft, a company that has prioritized its enterprise efforts under CEO Satya Nadella, could take TikTok in several new ways such as attaching it to gaming with Xbox or integrating it into new Surface Devices such as the Android-powered Surface Duo
Still, TikTok’s interest in blockchain technology to fight misrepresentation and manipulated videos highlight a path onward for the general social media community. In a world where trust in videos decreases to Photoshop and images, distributed ledgers could deliver a solution.