After more than two years of drama and controversy, Oracle has begun reviewing TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation systems, according to Axios. The efforts are meant to assess whether Chinese authorities can access and manipulate United States users’ data. In June 2022, the companies announced that TikTok had moved its U.S. traffic to Oracle’s servers after accusations nearly led to the popular video-sharing app being banned in the country.
In recent years, several publications have reported on censorship and penalization, among other controversial policies, perpetrated by the Chinese government against its own citizens. Lawmakers have demanded assurances that the Chinese Communist Party can’t access U.S. user data, and after even more damning reports, parent company ByteDance began routing data to Oracle’s cloud infrastructure.
Led by its outspoken co-founder and executive chairman, Larry Ellison, Oracle nearly bought TikTok’s American operations in 2020 before being chosen by ByteDance as its trusted tech partner. The new arrangement provides Oracle with the power to vet and validate TikTok’s content moderation and recommendation models, ideally giving it the power to prevent data manipulation.