TikTok CEO slams 'another copycat product' from Facebook in antitrust post

TikTok (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has blasted Instagram's new 'Reels.'
  • He says that it's "another copycat product."
  • The comments were made in a blog post about fair competition and transparency.

CEO of TikTok Kevin Mayer has blasted Facebook's latest Instagram feature 'Reels' as "another copycat product" from Facebook.

In a blog post titled 'Fair competition and transparency benefits us all Mayer highlighted TikTok's recent success in reimaging social media, and noted how with its recent success came "responsibility and accountability":

With our success comes responsibility and accountability. The entire industry has received scrutiny, and rightly so. Yet, we have received even more scrutiny due to the company's Chinese origins. We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability. We believe it is essential to show users, advertisers, creators, and regulators that we are responsible and committed members of the American community that follows US laws.

Mayer says that TikTok believes all companies should disclose their algorithms, moderation policies, and data flows to regulators. In the meantime, TikTok is launching its own 'Transparency and Accountability Center' for moderation and data practices:

Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms. This puts us a step ahead of the industry, and we encourage others to follow suit.

Moving on to Facebook, Mayer highlighted its new 'Reels' feature for Instagram, blasting it as "another copycat product":

At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on. Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly. But let's focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US.

Mayer said that TikTok is willing "to take all necessary steps to ensure the long-term availability and success of TikTok", and reiterated its commitment to keeping the platform safe and secure. In conclusion, he writes:

TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy. The bigger move is to use this moment to drive deeper conversations around algorithms, transparency, and content moderation, and to develop stricter rules of the road. We are taking the first step of many to address these concerns, and call on the industry to follow our lead for the benefit of users and creators everywhere.

You can read the full post here.

Stephen Warwick