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ByteDance, one of the best-known Chinese internet giants, will launch a feature on two of its products, TikTok’s sister app, Douyin and Toutiao information platform, with which the account’s IP location will be displayed on the user’s personal homepage. Toutiao and Douyin will test this function with Toutiao from Friday, April 15, while Douyin will start at the end of the month.
The account IP location displayed on the platform will be the one displayed on the users last post or comment. Additionally, the platform will display the province of China the user is located in, or other overseas countries and regions. The account’s IP location is subject to information provided by the operator. Users cannot disable the feature.
The announcement made by the two companies prompted complaints from a large number of netizens in China, claiming that this feature would violate the privacy rights of end users since users cannot disable the feature. However, Douyin and Toutiao said the move was to maintain a transparent and orderly discussion on the platforms and was intended to reduce misconduct such as pretending to attend fashionable events, maliciously spreading rumors and piggybacking. on trendy spots to gain visibility.
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In March this year, the Chinese social media Weibo announced that it would test a similar function, which is still in the testing phase. Opt-out by users is also prohibited.