SomethingMatter t1_jdfc4n3 wrote

The whole talk of banning them make absolutely no sense. The US has no reasonable mechanism to block their website and people can side load applications onto their phones and other devices. It's completely unenforceable. That's ignoring that it probably steps on quite a few laws and the constitution along the way.


SomethingMatter t1_jdf4liz wrote

It's tricky because TikTok are talking about 150 million users but are those people that installed the app once, monthly, or daily users? My guess is total users. Those distributions are likely to skew differently. Distributions could also mean a very large gap between the median and mean or one that differs by only a year. We don't have enough information and the only people who do won't give us that information. I don't doubt that the median age is on or above 18 but that also depends on what we are looking at. Daily/Monthly/Total users.

Even if it was 18 or 20, that would put almost half of their users in school and at that point content pushing algorithms become really important. A lot of the protections for children either started in January this year or a commitments for things that they will do.

To be fair. My criticisms here aren't just about TikTok. I have the same problems with all social media companies and trust them to respect people's privacy about as far as I can spit. The only times that they have done things in favor of the privacy of people, and more especially children, is when they have been compelled to by law. Their business model relies on the data that they acquire from users.


SomethingMatter t1_jdey99p wrote

I agree with this. We can see the skew from that graph but it depends what data points we look at. Daily users probably skew younger than monthly or total users. I also agree that I don't think the median would get as low as 16 years but even having half of your users under 18 isn't a good sign.

That's why I said the claim in the first place is bullshit. Obviously TikTok will pick the best data points to make their argument. They have all of the data and can cheery pick something to make their case.

Ironically, this is probably far less relevant than the algorithms that they use to push content to people. For example, anyone under 14 in China can't use TikTok for more than 40 minutes per day but that restriction doesn't exist here. And those users are also shown different content (educational) instead of the regular content. So the algorithm in China for youth is different from the algorithm for youth here.


SomethingMatter t1_jdelefh wrote

What does older in “users on TikTok are older than most think” mean? Older can refer to the majority (median) or average (mean). Most people think of it in terms of the first. TikTok used the mean for a reason, because it's lower than the median. If the data was skewed the other way around, they would have used the median. Hell, if the median user was past college age then they probably would have said that "there are more users past college age than younger".


SomethingMatter t1_jdekli9 wrote

The skew of the data matters a lot. The tail on the upper end extends much further than the tail on the lower end which means that the data will more than likely skew right. That would make the median lower than the mean. How much lower depends on the skew of the data but there is a huge difference between a median of 16 and an mean of 25 compared to a median of 22 and a mean of 25.


SomethingMatter t1_jdejiiu wrote

Like WTF? Do you even understand statistics? Do you understand skewed populations? 150 million people won't become a normalized population just because you think it should. For example, voters in the USA skew older. That's a fact. If you look at the number of people who vote and their age then it will not form a normalized population. It will skew left. It doesn't matter that there are 150 million people voting. That fact holds true.


SomethingMatter t1_jdej2ji wrote

I agree that congress is screwing up because they are targetting TikTok as a product instead of targeting the data collection policies. They have absolutely no reliable way of enforcing any laws that they make that specifically target TikTok. This isn't China with it's locked down Internet. It also makes perfect sense for the government to ban TikTok from government devices. TikTok has to obey the laws of the Chinese government and will have to hand over any information that the Chinese government requests from them.


SomethingMatter t1_jdeinsm wrote

But those 150 million people would have a similar distribution. Lets say that the minimum age on TikTok is 12 and the highest age is 65. An average/mean age of 23 would have to include more people in the 12-23 block than the 23-65 block because the people in the upper end count "more". Populations that skew right (assuming age goes from a lower to a higher value) will always have a mean that is higher than the median (

That is why the median is much more important because it tells us the skew of the data. The mean is bullshit in this case.


SomethingMatter t1_jddvpw6 wrote

Because toddlers and babies don't use something like TikTok and there is no upper limit on the age to skew the average upwards. There is also the problem where a lot of you people stick in fake ages. Back on point, though. You don't need a 10k person to skew the age up. I gave an example in another comment where a couple of 46 year old people can skew an average with a majority school aged group up to 22. Here it is:

If you have 5 x 13 year olds, a 15 year old, a 16 year old, a 22 year old and 2 x 46 year old people. That averages out to 21 years with the median being 14 years.


SomethingMatter t1_jddul3l wrote

Yeah, this claim is total bullshit. All of the kids in my daughters school are on tiktok but very few parents in the area use it. Even then, the numbers will always skew higher because babies and toddlers aren't going to be using this and there is no limit on the upper end. For example, if you have 5 x 13 year olds, a 15 year old, a 16 year old, a 22 year old and 2 x 46 year old people. That averages out to 21 years. The vast majority of people are school kids with only one college student, and 2 older people. He should be giving the median age and he knows it.

All of that is also ignoring that a lot of kids stick fake ages into these apps.


SomethingMatter t1_jd4140y wrote

> Incorrect. They have no digital copy that they paid to “loan out”. They have a physical copy, which they argue entitles them to loan out a digital copy.

It’s already been established that this isn’t a problem. Libraries have created and loaned out braille books based on the OCR’d contents of their physical copies. That was deemed legal. This is exactly the same thing. They are creating a digital copy from the physical one (by scanning it in) and lending that out. It’s part of the fair use doctrine.

> While that is a factor, I don’t care if I don’t lose income. I care that I’m losing my rights.

What rights are you losing and what is the personal harm with the loss of those rights? There is a balance between personal rights and those of the public at large.


SomethingMatter t1_jd23jp1 wrote

> just because they own a physical copy of my book that gives them the right to distribute digital copies, even if they only do so "one at a time".

They aren't distributing digital copies, they are loaning the copy that they have out. At the end of the loan, the person can no longer use the copy.

The big issue that you (and the publishers) are missing here is that you think that this is losing you income. There is no guarantee that the people that are loaning books will be buying a copy instead. The publishers haven't given any proof that they even lost a cent in revenue.

I buy a lot of digital books but I also use IA from time to time to loan out an obscure book that I have no interest in purchasing. I will never buy those books. This case is making me rethink my decision to buy book digitally. I am far less likely to buy any digital copies now and will try and visit my local library instead to read physical books or buy books from traditional book sellers and not places like Amazon.

I am doing this for 2 reasons:

  1. The greed of the publishers (and some authors)
  2. The fact that the contents of my digital copy, that I have purchased, can change any time in the future when the publisher decides to "update" the book.

SomethingMatter t1_jczjbfk wrote

Just to be clear to anyone reading this. You can do the same with books rented from other sites or ones you get from Amazon Unlimited. I am not advocating for this. I am just saying that this is possible with all digital rental/loan books, not just, so it shouldn't be used as a reason to target for allowing piracy.


SomethingMatter t1_jcz8ds3 wrote

That was only for a temporary time and only included a subset of books. This was to help out the schools during early Covid. I am not sure that it was the smartest move but I can understand why they did it.


> The National Emergency Library was a temporary collection of books that supported emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries were closed due to COVID-19. The National Emergency Library launched on March 24, 2020, and closed on June 16, 2020


SomethingMatter t1_jcz7sc2 wrote

Thanks for posting this. My version that linked a blog was removed because I took the time out of the title. Hopefully this one stays up. Some comments that I posted in my one:


> A major lawsuit against the nonprofit Internet Archive threatens the future of all libraries. Big publishers are suing to cut off libraries’ ownership and control of digital books, opening new paths for censorship. Oral arguments are on March 20.


> The Internet Archive has been scanning millions of print books that they own, and loaning them out to anyone around the world, for free. Other libraries like the Boston Public Library are using the same process to make digital books too. > > This is happening because major publishers offer no option for libraries to permanently purchase digital books and carry out their traditional role of preservation. > > Instead, libraries are forced to pay high licensing fees to “rent” books from big tech vendors that regard patron privacy as a premium feature and are vulnerable to censorship from book banners. Under this regime, publishers act as malicious gatekeepers, preventing the free flow of information and undermining libraries’ ability to serve their patrons. > > But it looks bad if publishers sue the Boston Public Library. So instead, they’ve launched an attack on a groundbreaking nonprofit, including a lawsuit with clear repercussions for every library in the US.