Why Does the Prison-Life Content on TikTok Feel So Familiar?

Others on the platform publish related movies. One demonstrates the way to make a Jail Potato Log, which is sort of a big tamale; one other prepares a Jail Wrap, which has similarities. There are even quite a few cooking movies made by people who find themselves nonetheless incarcerated: dishes cooked utilizing strategies that will or will not be prison-legal, the method recorded on telephones that most probably aren’t. (You possibly can watch clips that seem to indicate individuals deep-frying empanadas in a can, cooking eggs in a plastic bag or grilling wraps on a steel bunk.) The movies are usually upbeat, and so they’re usually tinged with nostalgia. Marci Marie, as an example, says the Cookie Rolls had been a particular deal with, made when somebody had one thing to have fun.

The cooking is however a subset of the TikTok content material made by previously (and at the moment) incarcerated individuals. Some dedicate themselves to dealing with the digital camera and earnestly educating viewers about jail life, telling tales and answering questions. Marci Marie has answered many, together with “Is it secure to make associates in jail?” (sure), and responded to a message about the way to iron garments (soak in water, press with a cup or hot-pot lid, dry below your mattress). Others describe the day of their launch or how holidays had been celebrated or the perfect kind for burpees. The extra you discover the prison-life content material on TikTok, the extra it appears to reflect all the favored genres of the platform — cooking, life recommendation, bored dancing, exercise suggestions — till life on the within ceases to look fairly so distinct from life on the surface.

America has no scarcity of narratives about jail life, stretching from century-old memoirs and novels to current movie and tv. However in current a long time, most of those depictions have centered on essentially the most surprising features of higher-security prisons. Actuality and documentary reveals — Nationwide Geographic’s “Lockdown,” MSNBC’s “Lockup,” A&E’s “Behind Bars,” Netflix’s “I Am a Killer” — focus usually or completely on the worst, most harmful amenities, highlighting escapes and riots and intense conflicts. Tv dramas like “Oz” and “Jail Break” have achieved the identical. America’s incarcerated inhabitants surged within the Nineteen Eighties and ’90s, nevertheless it wasn’t till the 2013 arrival of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” that tv had any prolonged depiction of each day life in a minimum-security jail.

This give attention to excessive situations absolutely distorts our notion of jail life. We’re proven hostile, alien and debased environments (“A unique world” with “its personal guidelines,” because the intro to an episode of “Behind Bars” has it) stuffed with violent, harmful individuals (“killers, robbers and rapists,” per the intro to an episode of “Lockdown”). These terrifying situations are undoubtedly actual, each within the prisons being documented and in different ones. However relating to the system as an entire, and life inside it, they will not be wholly consultant. America incarcerates individuals at a strikingly excessive charge — extra, by most estimates, than every other nation on the planet. A majority of the 1.2 million individuals in our prisons are serving shorter sentences in lower-security amenities, usually for nonviolent crimes. Their each day experiences, even the grim ones, are inclined to go unremarked on in jail dramas, which go over the grind of imprisonment — the glitchy, costly video calls; the inedible meals; the painful hours in solitary confinement — for a swirl of homicide plots, escape plans and sexual violence.

F.C.C. Commissioner Pushes Apple and Google to Remove TikTok

A member of the Federal Communications Fee has requested Google and Apple to take away TikTok from their app shops, citing issues that the favored Chinese language-owned video app might ship American knowledge again to Beijing.

In a letter to the businesses launched on Tuesday, Brendan Carr, a Republican commissioner, mentioned he believed that “TikTok’s sample of conduct and misrepresentations concerning the unfettered entry that individuals in Beijing need to delicate U.S. consumer knowledge” violated Apple’s and Google’s requirements and that TikTok needs to be taken out of the app shops.

Mr. Carr’s request is unlikely to achieve traction as a result of the F.C.C. doesn’t regulate the app shops and the fee’s agenda is essentially set by its Democratic chairwoman. But it surely reveals the sustained stress on Chinese language tech firms from officers in Washington.

Policymakers have lengthy nervous that TikTok’s Chinese language dad or mum firm, ByteDance, might expose its knowledge to the Chinese language authorities. Former President Donald J. Trump tried to power ByteDance to promote the app or face expulsion from app shops in 2020. At one level, the Trump administration introduced a deal by which Oracle, the American cloud computing firm, would have taken over a few of the firm. The sale by no means got here to fruition.

The Biden administration has thought-about different measures to maintain American knowledge away from China however has not publicly pushed TikTok to chop ties with its Chinese language proprietor.

TikTok has maintained that it’s taking steps to maintain workers in China from having access to its knowledge. Shortly earlier than a current information report revealed it was struggling to take action, it mentioned it was routing all knowledge from its U.S. customers via servers managed by Oracle.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, mentioned the corporate was partaking with lawmakers who had requested questions on its knowledge practices. Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, declined to remark. Apple and the F.C.C. didn’t reply to requests for remark.

In his letter, Mr. Carr mentioned he didn’t imagine TikTok’s efforts would make a distinction.

“TikTok has lengthy claimed that its U.S. consumer knowledge has been saved on servers within the U.S., and but these representations offered no safety towards the info being accessed from Beijing,” he wrote. “Certainly, TikTok’s assertion that ‘one hundred pc of US consumer visitors is being routed to Oracle’ says nothing about the place that knowledge could be accessed from.”

Meta tweaks Facebook app to act more like TikTok.

For many of Fb’s historical past, its executives have executed a tried-and-true playbook: Mimic the success of others.

On Thursday, the corporate, which has been renamed Meta, continued that tactic with a revamp of its most important Fb app that may change how customers browse the service and make it act a bit extra like considered one of its largest opponents.

Fb customers will quickly open the app to a brand new House tab that may characteristic a feed with images, looping movies and standing updates from a mixture of family and friends. The House tab may also present a wide range of posts from individuals and pages unconnected to a consumer’s community, labeled “Steered for You.”

That class will likely be pushed by what Fb’s algorithms suppose somebody could prefer to see, primarily based on 1000’s of particular person info alerts and the consumer’s searching historical past on Fb. The so-called discovery engine behind these algorithms is powered by Fb’s synthetic intelligence expertise.

Briefly, the Fb app will act extra like TikTok, the Chinese language-owned social media app. Whereas Fb has traditionally linked individuals to content material produced by their buddies, the video-based TikTok depends on algorithmic alerts and viral content material to indicate viewers extremely participating posts, with out having to depend on somebody’s community of buddies or connections.

The change is a part of a push by Meta to drive use of its social apps, which additionally embody Instagram. In latest months, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s chief government, has promoted video merchandise throughout Instagram and Fb, with the corporate inserting extra recommended content material to maintain customers engaged and recurrently returning to the apps. On Instagram, the method appears to be working, Mr. Zuckerberg has stated.

The House tab follows a preferred social media development often known as “discovery,” which is actually counting on algorithms and machine studying to raised perceive the forms of content material a consumer could like and serving it up with out the particular person’s working arduous to search out it. Fb is investing closely in that space, as are firms like Snap and Twitter.

TikTok’s emphasis on discovery and serving up participating content material has been a social media phenomenon. Based lower than a decade in the past, TikTok has added lots of of tens of millions of customers over the previous few years. Younger individuals spend greater than 90 minutes a day watching TikTok, in accordance with some estimates, besting even YouTube on time spent contained in the app.

That has put strain on Meta’s household of apps. Its executives have grown involved concerning the share of youthful customers migrating to TikTok and different up-and-coming social media apps. To fight the attrition, Fb and Instagram executives have made product adjustments that observe opponents’ strikes. In 2020, Instagram launched Reels, a short-form, looping video product almost equivalent to that produced by TikTok.

Meta has made large adjustments prior to now to how its merchandise work, sometimes ticking off its consumer base. However the brand new adjustments are occurring extra subtly and over time. The House tab will nonetheless be populated with posts from buddies and teams and can slowly introduce exterior content material whereas ramping up extra movies and Reels posts from influencers. Whereas that method has been profitable for TikTok, it’s unclear whether or not Fb’s customers will embrace the adjustments — or whether or not they are going to even discover.

Within the Fb app replace, customers ought to count on to see extra short-form video and Reels within the House tab as the corporate refines the algorithms and improves the invention expertise. House content material can even embody images or articles from pages and teams {that a} consumer doesn’t already observe.

Customers can nonetheless select to view content material solely from buddies, household or sure pages — with out seeing unconnected, recommended posts — by navigating to the brand new Feeds tab. Beneath the Feeds tab, individuals can view content material in classes like posts from buddies, posts from teams they belong to and pages they subscribe to, or a stream of the whole lot mixed and posted in reverse chronological order.

Mr. Zuckerberg stated individuals would nonetheless have management over what they noticed within the app with the Feeds tab.

“One of the requested options for Fb is to verify individuals don’t miss buddies’ posts,” he stated in a Fb submit. “The app will nonetheless open to a personalised feed on the House tab, the place our discovery engine will advocate the content material we expect you’ll care most about. However the Feeds tab offers you a solution to customise and management your expertise additional.”

The Fb app replace will likely be rolled out globally over the subsequent week.