TikTok Allowing US Scientists and Analysts Access to its API
TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, will be allowing US scientists and analysts access to its application programming interface (API). This access will be granted to non-profit universities and research institutions, allowing them to gain insight into the platform’s data.
What is the Research API?
The Research API was first announced by TikTok last summer, and members of the advisory committee were granted access to it in November. This API will give researchers a wide range of data about the platform, however, the company will still maintain control over who can access it. Research proposals must be approved by TikTok’s US data security division, and scientists must be compliant with the platform’s terms of service.
TikTok has stated that they plan to expand access to the research API for more regions and non-commercial researchers in the coming months.
What is the Purpose of the Research API?
The primary purpose of the Research API is to prove to the US government that the app is not a threat to national security. Since the initial announcement of the API, TikTok has been banned from being used on work phones owned by members of the House of Representatives, and it has been extended to civil servants in multiple states and federal agencies.
The announcement of the Research API is one of many trust-building moves made by the company to make information about their security practices available to the public. The company has also opened a physical office space, called the Center for Transparency and Accountability, where visitors can interact with moderation simulation software and learn more about the platform’s security practices.
What is the Response to the Research API?
Unfortunately, both liberal and conservative American politicians have continued to call for a total ban on TikTok, and the question has become a source of political speculation and manipulation.
TikTok’s decision to grant access to its Research API to US scientists and analysts is a positive step in the right direction. It shows that the company is committed to transparency and is willing to provide the public with more information about its security practices. Hopefully, this move will help to alleviate some of the concerns surrounding the platform, and it will also help to further research into the platform.