Shots fired! Reddit CEO has some harsh words for TikTok


Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit and not a TikTok fan (Horacio Villalobos – Corbis/Getty Images)

The CEO of Reddit has delivered a stinging indictment of new-kid-on-the-block TikTok, calling the platform a ‘parasite’.

Steve Huffman, the co-founder of Reddit was speaking at an event in California this week, when he warned people against putting the video-sharing app on their phone.

When asked whether or not Silicon Valley startups could learn something from TikTok (which was built in China by a company called ByteDance) Huffman didn’t hold back.

‘Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them,’ Huffman said, according to TechCrunch.

‘Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.’

‘I actively tell people, ‘Don’t install that spyware on your phone.’

TikTok has exploded in popularity, but has drawn criticism for its handling of user data. Despite this, TikTok recently introduced revised parental controls to make it easier for adults to supervise how their children use the app.

A new family safety mode will link a parent’s account to their child’s. The feature will enable parents to control the amount of screen time allowed on TikTok, who can directly message the account and restrict types of content which appear in the feed of their child’s account.

TiKTok has exploded in popularity over the last 18 months (Getty Images Europe)

The social media platform’s head of trust and safety in Europe, Cormac Keenan said the app had worked with some of the platform’s most popular figures to introduce the prompts.

He said they would ‘remind our community to be aware of the time they spend on TikTok and to encourage them to consider taking some time out’.

Writing in a blog post announcing the new safety features, Mr Keenan said: ‘When people use TikTok, we know they expect an experience that is fun, authentic, and safe.

‘As part of our ongoing commitment to providing users with features and resources to have the best experience on TikTok, we are announcing family safety mode, a new feature to help parents and guardians keep their teens safe on TikTok.

‘We will keep introducing ways to keep our community safe so they can stay focused on what matters to them – creating, sharing, and enjoying the creativity of TikTok’s community.’





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