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TikTok faces criticism for silently eliminating the feature that showed the view counts of hashtags on the platform. According to The Washington Post, the change seems to have been made in response to accusations that the app was favoring pro-Palestinian content.


X / Twitter allows spread of hate speech during Israel-Gaza conflict, study reveals — pointing out the responsible users

Experts are surprised by TikTok’s decision to disable hashtag view counts, as they considered it a crucial tool for analyzing viewership data to track the circulation of harmful content and trends. In the context of the Israel-Gaza conflict, researchers utilized view counts to quantify the disparity in support between the two sides among TikTok users.

The alteration was made without any prior notice and, as per a TikTok representative, was implemented last month. The spokesperson explained that the shift from showing view counts to the number of posts aligns with industry norms and that alternative methods exist for analyzing TikTok content.

TikTok’s removal of transparency features follows a pattern seen in the wider social media landscape. As highlighted by the Post, X (formerly Twitter) and Meta have also restricted data access for journalists and researchers in recent years, citing privacy issues and misuse concerns. Similarly, TikTok justified curtailing its Creative Center functionalities for researchers by stating that it was primarily tailored for advertisers and that researchers were drawing inaccurate conclusions.

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Chance Townsend
Assistant Editor, General Assignments

Currently based in Austin, Texas, Chance Townsend serves as an Assistant Editor at Mashable. Holding a Master’s in Journalism from the University of North Texas, his research primarily focuses on online communities, dating apps, and professional wrestling.

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, sleeping, and bracing for disappointment from the Lions and Pistons on a regular basis. For any intriguing stories or recipes, you can reach him via email at [email protected].


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