TikTok Adds Feature to Explain Why Videos Are Recommended

TikTok Adds Feature to Explain Why Videos Are Recommended

TikTok has added a feature to its For You page that will give users a brief explanation of why a video was recommended on their feeds.

In a blog post shared on Tuesday, TikTok said that while “technical models” power its recommendation system, the company is paring down some of those details into easily digestible reasons, such as user interactions (videos a user watches, likes, shares, comments on and/or searches for), accounts that the user follows, content recently posted in a user’s region and content that is popular in that region.

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“This feature is one of many ways we’re working to bring meaningful transparency to the people who use our platform, and builds on a number of steps we’ve taken towards that goal,” the blog post said. “Looking ahead, we’ll continue to expand this feature to bring more granularity and transparency to content recommendations.”

The latest feature comes after TikTok has faced renewed scrutiny in Congress, with the Senate most recently passing a bill on Dec. 14 that would ban the social media platform from government-issued devices. (The bill would still allow federal employees to download the app for investigative and research purposes on government devices.)

On Tuesday, lawmakers also put forward a $1.7 trillion spending bill that would require the White House Office of Management and Budget “to develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies requiring the removal” of TikTok from government-issued devices within 60 days.

“We’re disappointed that Congress has moved to ban TikTok on government devices — a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests — rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review,” a spokesperson for TikTok said.