Reddit boss describes TikTok as ‘spyware’ and ‘fundamentally parasitic’

Reddit boss describes TikTok as ‘spyware’ and ‘fundamentally parasitic’ as the controversial video app is set to surpass 10 million users in the UK by 2021

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman was speaking on a panel at San Francisco conferenceSaid he actively encourages people to not install the app on their handsetsHe compared it spyware and said he thinks the app is ‘fundamentally parasitic’ The Reddit co-founder added the fingerprint technology it uses is truly terrifying

The enormously popular video-sharing app TikTok has been savaged by the top boss of Reddit in a string of scathing comments about the Chinese app. 

CEO and co-founder of Reddit Steve Huffman called TikTok ‘fundamentally parasitic’ and urged people not to install ‘that spyware on your phone’. 

He also singled out the fingerprint scanning technology the app uses and said it was ‘truly terrifying’. 

As the conversation wandered towards TikTok, Mr Huffman vehemently rejected the notion that American start-ups could adopt certain aspects of TikTok’s blueprint. 

It comes as market researchers predict TikTok, made by the Chinese firm ByteDance, will surpass ten million users next year in the UK alone.

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CEO and co-founder of Reddit Steve Huffman called Tik Tok ‘fundamentally parasitic’ and urged people not to install ‘that spyware on your phone’ at a Silicon valley panel meeting 


TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions. 

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.  

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.

Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app, also with headquarters in China. 

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits. 

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos. 

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion). 

The damning remarks were made while he was speaking on a panel that also featured former Facebook VP of Product Sam Lessin. 

It was a gathering of investors and entrepreneurs at a one-day conference called ‘Social 2030’.  

Mr Huffman said: ‘Maybe I’m going to regret this, but I can’t even get to that level of thinking with them.

‘Because I look at that app as so fundamentally parasitic, that it’s always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone.’

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