Faced with growing suspicion from US lawmakers, Oracle has now taken on the role of moderator to ensure that Chinese authorities do not manipulate TikTok’s US user traffic.
According to Axios(Opens in a new window), the decision to use Oracle for this task is dubbed “Project Texas” in honor of Oracle’s headquarters in the state. ByteDance signed an agreement with Oracle(Opens in a new window) in 2020 to use it as a trusted technology provider, and all TikTok US user traffic is now routed through the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. However, Oracle has now added the responsibility of vetting the platform for the US market.
A spokesperson for Oracle confirmed to Axios that the company is now “regularly vetting and validating” TikTok’s content recommendation system/algorithms, as well as the moderation models it employs. Oracle can see how the algorithms decide what content to show users, “to ensure that outcomes are consistent with expectations and that the models have not been tampered with in any way.”
Oracle is tasked with performing regular audits on the automated systems in use, as well as those involving TikTok and ByteDance employees, for the content moderation process. The audit is intended to ensure that moderation occurs solely as a result of the Community Guidelines and not from any other source, such as Chinese pressure to censor or push certain types of content.
Read more; WHAT A NINTENDO 64DD IS WORTH TODAY
With leaked audio in June revealing China repeatedly accessed US TikTok user data and the platform relied on engineers based in Beijing, there has been growing suspicion about how much influence China has over TikTok. Project Texas is intended to ensure that doesn’t happen again, with Oracle on the hook to make sure it doesn’t.