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TikTok’s employees are using a secret “heating” button to enhance viral videos. 

Jan 27 2023

TikTok’s employees are using a secret “heating” button to enhance viral videos. While most use TikTok for its seemingly personally curated For You Page, it’s recently been revealed that in addition to the algorithm, “staff at TikTok and ByteDance also secretly hand-pick specific videos and supercharge their distribution, using a practice known internally as ‘heating.’” While big tech regularly engages in some type of content boosting, it’s normally disclosed. For example, TikTok itself (along with Google and Meta) has teamed with public health and political groups to circulate accurate information in the past. But TikTok is “heating” videos to also boost and “to court influencers and brands, enticing them into partnerships by inflating their videos’ view count.” It’s also been revealed that staff have abused this power, “heating” their own or friends’ content, but a TikTok Heating Policy is in the works that states “heating” can be used to attract influencers, promote diverse content, push important information, and more. (Forbes)