Written by Nick Heer.

Reuters: ByteDance Censored Anti-China Content on BaBe News App in Indonesia

Fanny Potkin, Reuters:

Chinese tech giant ByteDance censored content it perceived as critical of the Chinese government on its news aggregator app in Indonesia from 2018 to mid-2020, six people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The sources said that local moderators were instructed by a team from ByteDance’s Beijing headquarters to delete articles seen as “negative” about Chinese authorities on the Baca Berita (BaBe) app.

In a statement to Reuters, BaBe said it disagreed with the claims and that it moderates content according to its community guidelines and in line with Indonesia’s local laws.

This is the kind of soft power play that is at least as concerning to me on a global scale as TikTok’s data collection, if not more so.