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TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app with hundreds of millions of users around the world, instructed moderators to suppress posts created by users deemed too ugly, poor, or disabled for the platform. These same documents show moderators were also told to censor political speech in TikTok livestreams, punishing those who harmed “national honor” or broadcast streams about “state organs such as police” with bans from the platform.

The ultimate goal of TikTok is to enforce rigid constraints while attempting to bolster its image as a global platform of self-expression and anything-goes creativity.

TikTok controls content on its platform to achieve rapid growth in the mold of a Silicon Valley startup while simultaneously discouraging political dissent with the sort of heavy hand regularly seen in its home country of China.

TikTok wants perfect people with pretty faces to dominate the platform. One document goes so far as to instruct moderators to scan uploads for cracked walls and “disreputable decorations” in users’ own homes — then to effectively punish these poorer TikTok users by artificially narrowing their audiences.

TikTok moderators were explicitly told to suppress uploads from users with flaws both congenital and inevitable. “Abnormal body shape,” “ugly facial looks,” dwarfism, and “obvious beer belly,” “too many wrinkles,” “eye disorders,” and many other “low quality” traits are all enough to keep uploads out of the algorithmic fire hose.

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Spotify comes to the rescue and will help artists who are struggling financially over the coronavirus crisis.

“Though streaming continues to play a key role in connecting creators with their fans, numerous other sources of revenue have been interrupted or stopped altogether by this crisis,” the platform notes in a new blog post about its efforts.

Spotify is working to add a new feature to its Spotify For Artists platform that will enable artists to fundraise directly from fans, and Spotify will not take any cut of the contributions. This will give artists on Spotify the ability to link out to a verified funding page for themselves, another artist in need, or any other initiative.

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Lady Gaga is the latest artist to postpone their album over the coronavirus pandemic. Established artists with first week expectations won’t get the ears and eyes they want. Most of these artists will postpone their releases because the can’t fully capture the public’s attention with around-the-clock media coverage of the pandemic. It’s a great time for bedroom artists to release music.

Gaga said, “While I believe art is one the strongest things we have to provide joy and healing to each other… it just doesn’t feel right”

She explained, “This is such a hectic and scary time for all of us, and while I believe art is one the strongest things we have to provide joy and healing to each other during times like this, it just doesn’t feel right to me to release this album with all that is going on during this global pandemic.”

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Check out Cool by Linney. The track landed on New Music Friday (Deutschland, Switzerland) and Spotify’s Best New Pop and Brand Chill. After several single releases, this track has received the best overall debut. Linney is Los Angeles based and has been building her resume through featured topline vocals on a number of breakout dance tracks. She first made waves upon the release of her single, “Outta My Heart,” which was tweeted Halsey. Give it a stream.

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Although many artists have cancelled or postponed tours, Justin Bieber has not. His upcoming Changes tour is set to kick off in May.  This is a big game of chance. First, promoters need several months of lead up time. It’s around the clock promo for big arena tours – weeks, days, and seconds matter. Promoters lost those weeks . Insiders claim the 26 year old isn’t canceling the tour…yet.  As with other artists, Bieber and team are taking this minute by minute.

According to sources: “He knows that some spots might have to be cancelled or postponed and right now he is taking it minute by minute and case by case. His people are keeping him up on everything and he will act appropriately when needed. If he can go out, he will. If cities and venues tell him he can’t, then he will abide by everything that is brought to him. It is touch and go right now but he is hoping for the best. He is around people he loves and who loves him so he is going to ride it out and see what happens.”

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