TikTok CEO pledges more transparency on content moderation, data practices

CEO Kevin Mayer calls on Facebook to uphold similar standards.

Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer says the company plans to reveal how TikTok's algorithm works.

Angela Lang/CNET

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer promises more transparency on content moderation and data practices. In his first public statement on Wednesday, Mayer said the company plans to reveal how TikTok's algorithm works and calls on competitor Facebook to do the same.

"The entire industry has received scrutiny, and rightly so," Mayer said. "We have received even more scrutiny due to the company's Chinese origins. We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability."

TikTok's popularity has exploded over the past year. And yet the app -- owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech company -- is also facing scrutiny over concerns the Chinese government may have some sway over it. India has banned TikTok, citing national security concerns. The US and Australia are also considering blocking the app

Mayer calls on Facebook to uphold similar transparency in its TikTok competitor, Instagram Reels

"Let's focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor -- namely Facebook -- disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US," said Mayer.

Facebook, among other tech giants, is scheduled to appear before the House of Representatives in an antitrust hearing on Wednesday. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to tell US lawmakers that the social network is a "proudly American company" that has competition, including TikTok. 

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Watch this: Why the US might try to ban TikTok