TikTok

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TikTok
TikTok logo
tiktok home page as seen on November 9, 2019
tiktok home page as seen on November 9, 2019
URL https://www.tiktok.com/
Status Online! but possibly Endangered
Archiving status Not saved yet
Archiving type Unknown
IRC channel #TikOff (on hackint)

TikTok is a social media app and Website for short, user generated videos developed by the Chinese company ByteDance. The app was launched internationally in September 2017 and merged with musical.ly on 9 November 2017. It is currently under intense scrutiny for its collection and use of user data, primarily in its relationship with China.[1]

Douyin

Douyin(抖音) is the China-only version of TikTok.

Sites:

If anyone who can read Chinese would like to help out, that'd be great.

Archiving tools

yt-dlp is able to grab videos straight from the site

A tool to generate the signature TikTok uses to sign all their requests exists and is actively updated

TikTokTake

Work is being done to create a tool that can get all of a users videos and WARC them up, that's being implemented in a cli tool and irc bot TikTokTake

TikUp

TikUp is a Python package that gets all videos from a user or a hashtag, and uploads them to the Internet Archive under `tiktok-<video id>`. Github link

Vital Signs

  • The first request for archival was in October 2019 due to removal of pro-LGBTQ content, even in countries where homosexuality has never been illegal. [2]
  • Videos from Douyin (Chinese TikTok) can not be seen outside of China. [3]
  • In August 2020 Trump said "As far as TikTok is concerned, we're banning them from the United States," [4]
  • In 2020-09-18, the Trump administrator will ban downloads of the TikTok app starting 2020-09-20, and access will be banned on November 12.[5]

Archival Locations

Tiktok Video Bin on the Internet Archive is where the TikToks uploaded with TikUp and all videos uploaded with the identifier 'tiktok-<video id>' go. The Internet Archive deindexed this collection some time in 2020.[6]

Notes

  • https://m.tiktok.com/v/<id> is a better way to archive videos, versus https://www.tiktok.com/@<username>/video/<id>. (because it requires the ID only, not the username and the ID)
  • Videos without sound can't be viewed directly on desktop (it just says 'Video currently unavailable', however viewing them via user page will work), and their links don't work, but they can be viewed and downloaded on mobile.
  • If we wanted to make a Warrior, we could use https://vm.tiktok.com/*******/, I think it's alphanumeric, but I'm not sure if these links work for every TikTok.
    • A minor caution regarding using https://vm.tiktok.com/*******/ URLs; they redirect to the full video URLs mentioned earlier, but also include telemetry parameters (_t=... and _r=...). It is believed that the former parameter equates to a unique identifier TikTok has assigned to both authenticated and non-authenticated users.