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  • A former diplomat for the Chinese government was head of TikTok’s global content moderation team for two years, the Financial Times reported. 
  • Cai Zheng was a diplomat at the Chinese embassy in Iran prior to taking up the post at TikTok. 
  • The company has long maintained that Beijing influences its content moderation policy. The FT reported that Cai is not a Chinese Communist Part ideologue. 
  • Cai’s time at TikTok coincides with numerous instances of the suppression of topics such as LGBTQ issues, Tibetan independence and even users deemed too “ugly” to be seen on the main page. 
  • A TikTok spokesperson told Business Insider that Cai was not involved in devising its early policies but oversaw efforts to localize them internationally. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

TikTok hired a former Chinese diplomat to oversee its global content policy unit, which decided what content should be allowed on the short-form

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