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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 15 2023, @02:54PM   Printer-friendly

The STEM feed comes as TikTok faces increasing scrutiny:

TikTok has a large science community, and the social network wants everyone to know it on Pi Day (March 14). The company is launching a dedicated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) feed that shows only these more educational videos. You may learn to code or discuss experiments without having to wade through TikTok's usual entertainment-focused content.

Not surprisingly, TikTok is taking steps to block misinformation in this new section. Curator Common Sense Networks will study content to make sure it's relevant to the STEM feed, while the fact-checkers at Poynter will gauge the accuracy. Any videos that don't pass both inspections won't reach the new feed.

Users in the US will start seeing the STEM feed in the "coming weeks," TikTok says. The social media giant has already been experimenting with a "Topic Feed" in some regions to court fans of gaming, sports and other common subjects. The science-oriented feed is considered an expansion of this initiative.

[...] Whether or not this helps with TikTok's survival in the US is another matter. Some politicians want to ban TikTok outright over fears it's a national security threat. Officials are concerned China may collect data about key Americans or spread propaganda.

See also: TikTok is Adding a Dedicated Feed for STEM Content


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Wednesday March 15 2023, @03:38PM (8 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @03:38PM (#1296253)

    If one is using TikTok to learn anything other than how to troll other humans, they're using it differently than corporations, government propaganda machines, and the rest with some other motive to change ones mind. If one is trying to use TikTok for science content, we may as well just give up. About the only "science" on any of these platforms broadcast seems to be about flat earth.

    All I see here is another engagement tool. It goes like this. You flash the end user with 5 TikTok videos about Science, which sets you up to believe the crap you're ingesting, with the 6th being some sort of paid video to try to persuade you to do something you otherwise wouldn't have thought about. Politics, Ads or some other totally random B.S. This is a well documented way to slip crap into humans brains and is used as a psychological tool to pursued people.

    I can't wrap my head around an otherwise completely terrible app that has about zero moderation going from 100% terrible, to 100% terrible 'But we have STEM and we can moderate that!'.

    Maybe to prove this out and show us their honesty, TikTok should start with a 'science' TikTok that describes their formula, ie: Economics. Would be good for the TikTokers to understand that its first about a business model to sell ads, 2nd to not get booted from the United States, and third, about having a talking point when they're grilled in front of congress.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by canopic jug on Wednesday March 15 2023, @04:17PM (4 children)

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 15 2023, @04:17PM (#1296259) Journal

      I can't wrap my head around an otherwise completely terrible app that has about zero moderation going from 100% terrible, to 100% terrible 'But we have STEM and we can moderate that!'.

      It does seem like the press spamming us now with puff pieces expounding the nutritious benefits of Tiktok above all other things on the net. Even the New York Times is spewing out one or two such puff pieces per day. The character and quantity and wide distribution really make me think that it is a component of a major influence campaign with several goals. One of which is to take the public's already minimal attention away from the question of control and influence. If you caught last week's Dilbert, before the whole site went down for the count, there were several rather serious strips about world opinion control and manipulation through Tiktok.

      The CBS 60-Minutes investigative segment exploring the pernicious nature of ByteDance [cbs.com] should have politicians up in arms. Yet it got zero traction. Currently all the US politicians are chasing a red herring about privacy and surveillance. Worse, the politicians are not as concerned about the privacy violations and surveillance than about it being done by a company outside of their sphere of influence. Privacy and surveillance are important topics but they pale in comparison to the toll that ByteDance's Tiktok takes on non-Chinese youths' mental and physical health. And to take it as step further, even the harm it does to physical and mental health is just a distraction from what those hand-held Skinner boxes are doing to the culture. At 5 to 6 interactive, adaptive contact hours per day per youth, that's not anything less than cultural genocide.

      They may speak the local language natively but they have become quite distant culturally from even their older siblings not to mention earlier generations. So, really focus on anything less than addressing the cultural problems being programmed into them by ByteDance is just a misdirection away from the real topic: control and manipulation.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:08PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:08PM (#1296274)

        >Even the New York Times

        is bought and paid for. Editorial integrity went out the window completely around the same time that AIG started selling Credit Default Swaps. I believe the current line in Financial sectors regarding conflict of interest, truth in advertising, and general integrity is: "oh, that doesn't apply here."

        Has the New York Times been keeping the world appraised of these developments?

        TikTok is about social engineering, for the benefit of TikTok's controllers - ultimately: profit. Why would the New York Times do anything to impede that kind of social engineering?

        --
        🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:39PM (#1296311)

          I'd say integrity went out the window when Fox news began peddling propaganda 20 years ago and it worked! At least, it grabbed eyeballs and paid well. Why would you valiantly try and do real news against the tide when you could simply put 2 talking heads on for 4 hours a night blowing eachother. The old folks love that shit, up next American Gladiators.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by krishnoid on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:34PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:34PM (#1296281)

        The CBS 60-Minutes investigative segment exploring the pernicious nature of ByteDance [cbs.com] should have politicians up in arms. Yet it got zero traction.

        Is this the kind of thing that constituent correspondence would help? It would be something like "please have your unpaid interns watch from 15s onward in this YouTube video [youtu.be]" and have them show you the important parts. This is important to me personally as a constituent, not, uh, transgender FBI whistleblower sports bathroom same-sex abortion access to book-banning or whatever's going on in the legislature nowadays."

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday March 15 2023, @11:49PM

        by Tork (3914) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @11:49PM (#1296371)

        The CBS 60-Minutes investigative segment exploring the pernicious nature of ByteDance [cbs.com] should have politicians up in arms. Yet it got zero traction.

        That would be for a couple of reasons: 1. A lot of their constituents use it. 2. When Trump tried to ban Tik Tok over their prank at one of his rallies he handed them a nice little 1A defense that complicated matters.

        --
        🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:02PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:02PM (#1296273)

      >If one is trying to use TikTok for science content, we may as well just give up.

      What's your position on Bill Nye, then?

      >This is a well documented way to slip crap into humans brains

      As was the six o'clock evening news in decades gone by, and "news"papers in decades before that.

      >TikTok should start with a 'science' TikTok that describes their formula, ie: Economics.

      Oh, that's a "trade secret" - you're not a communist, are you?

      --
      🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Barenflimski on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:46PM

        by Barenflimski (6836) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:46PM (#1296286)

        >If one is trying to use TikTok for science content, we may as well just give up.

        What's your position on Bill Nye, then?

        Top.

        >This is a well documented way to slip crap into humans brains

        As was the six o'clock evening news in decades gone by, and "news"papers in decades before that.

        Good point. We should likely get rid of Walter Cronkite.

        >TikTok should start with a 'science' TikTok that describes their formula, ie: Economics.

        Oh, that's a "trade secret" - you're not a communist, are you?

        Depends on the day, brand of coffee and who's judging.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:48PM (#1296312)

        What's your position on Bill Nye, then?

        Bill Nye "The Science Guy" is to science what Terry Gene Bollea "Hulk Hogan" is to wrestling.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Sjolfr on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:32PM

    by Sjolfr (17977) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:32PM (#1296280)

    Please don't ruin STEM by including tiktok. Besides, good scientists should know better.

  • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:36PM (1 child)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:36PM (#1296282)

    It was my first reaction too: if TikTok delivers science content, humanity really is done for.

    But I'm ready to give it a shot if the "creators" and "influencers" making TikTok science videos don't ever say "Yo wazzup TikTok!!", "... and speaking of science, did you know you can get great content from our sponsor XYZ", "Don't forget to click on the subscribe button!!" or "Thanks to all my Patreons!!" If they never say any of that shit, I'm switching over to TikTok in a New York minute for sure!

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:41PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @05:41PM (#1296284) Journal

      Have you mixed up your dumbass-laden social video sites? You described YouTube just now. TikTok is close up videos of peoples nose as they "react" to other videos of people reacting to something that might actually be a joke.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Frosty Piss on Wednesday March 15 2023, @06:39PM (2 children)

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @06:39PM (#1296297)

    As TikTok is an organ of the Chinese government, it makes sense they are interested in STEM, all their other sources of Industrial Espionage are drying up. What better than the young ignorant college interns to see what's going on in Western labs. Is it any wonder that their stealth aircraft and other military gear are surprisingly similar to American tech - and not Russian tech? But there is one thing they excel on, biological warfare.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @07:35PM (#1296310)

      What they are seeing in Western labs is... more Chinese people. Top to bottom, wonderful hierarchical Chinese science where the Leader is always correct, has always been correct, and is most trustworthy, and only played golf one time and hit 9 holes in one. Disrespectful troublemakers cannot compete with them because they're Good at Math(tm).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:58PM (#1296331)

      Came here to say this. I suggest clog TikTok with misinformation, and and all possible.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:10PM (3 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:10PM (#1296318) Journal

    What's a Tik Tok?

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:53PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @08:53PM (#1296329)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @09:13PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15 2023, @09:13PM (#1296337)

        Whooooooooooooooooooooosh.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @04:54AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @04:54AM (#1296406)

          It was a joke, stuck "o" key man. Whoosh 2U2.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @03:10AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @03:10AM (#1296389)
    It'll be funny if one day TikTok was even more educational than US schools.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:01AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:01AM (#1296408)

      Well, seeing as TikTok gets 90% of kids' attention on a bad day...

      • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:55AM (1 child)

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 16 2023, @05:55AM (#1296422) Journal

        Well, seeing as TikTok gets 90% of kids' attention on a bad day...

        And next, the kids will be harming themselves physically and vandalizing their schools for "likes". Oh, wait, that's been the case with ByteDance's non-Chinese edition of Tiktok since day one. It's as serious as that. All the wrong people are failing to notice and take action, while at the same time all the other wrong people actually are both noticing and taking action.

        Oh and in unrelated news, United Arab Emirates spymaster, royal Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has used G42 to buy a very substantial portion of ByteDance.

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
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