Incident 190: ByteDance Allegedly Trained "For You" Algorithm Using Content Scraped without Consent from Other Social Platforms

Description: ByteDance allegedly scraped short-form videos, usernames, profile pictures, and descriptions of accounts on Instagram, Snapchat, and other sources, and uploaded them without consent on Flipagram, TikTok’s predecessor, in order to improve its “For You” algorithm's performance on American users.


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Alleged: ByteDance developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Instagram users , Snapchat users and American social media users.

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.