TikTok Surveillance

TikTok Surveillance

Episode 319 – August 15, 2020


  • Petbot
  • Precision Snail Mail
  • Recommendation Power
  • Limited Twitter Replies
  • Scribd Acquires SlideShare
  • Baby Nut Grows Up
  • Shady Apple News+
  • Recommendation Engine Tactics

During episode 319, BL and David discuss TikTok’s clandestine surveillance of its users; precisely targeted direct mail; warm and cuddly artificially intelligent pet robots; Twitter’s new Reply Guy feature; the power of video recommendations; LinkedIn Sells SlideShare to Scribd; Planter’s Baby Nut grows up; Apple redirects search users to its Apple News+ app;…and much, much more.

Best Practices


MOFLIN is an adorable, fuzzy, AI robotic pet that behaves like a real pet, without the allergic reactions.

Weather-Triggered Direct Mail

One day after an intense hailstorm, David received two pieces of direct mail from a roofing repair company and from Anderson Windows for a discount on window replacement.

Twitter Fixes Reply Guy Problem

You can now limit who is allowed to respond to your tweets, which Twitter says is helping reduce harassment.


LinkedIn’s SlideShare is being sold to Scribd, an acquisition that will significantly expand the company’s digital library.

Worst Practices

Baby Nut Grows Up

Remember Baby Nut? He’s now Nut Jr, and he’s 21.

Shady Apple News+

Apple is redirecting search engine traffic away from publishers’ sites to its own news app.

Woah, I wonder how many publishers in Apple News+ realize that the new iOS14 and MacOS Big Sur are by default intercepting traffic to their sites and sending it to the Apple News app instead. pic.twitter.com/k4PQG9mE7M— Tony Haile (@arctictony) August 10, 2020

TikTok Surveillance

For 15 months, until Nov 2019, TikTok was skirting Google privacy controls by using an extra layer of encryption to collect unique identifiers from millions of Android mobile devices. The data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out.


Vacation Simulating Machine

Shiny New Stuff

B.L.’s Finds

David’s Finds


The Wikipedia War Over Kamala Harris’ Race

Within minutes after Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate at 4:14pm, an ugly editing war began on Wikipedia and misinformation was indexed by Google.

Mark & Donald Sitting In A Tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

Instagram pushed searchers about Biden towards negative related hashtags

Weekly Numbers

Top Recommendation Engine Tactics