ByteDance’s Resso will closely watch its user videos to keep up with Indian social media laws

ByteDance’s Resso will closely watch its user videos to keep up with Indian social media laws
ByteDance's new app Resso will have to run quality control over comments and vibesBI India
  • ByteDance-owned music streaming app Resso just launched in India is also a social networking platform.
  • It will have to navigate the country’s uncertain social media guidelines on two fronts — vibes, which are short videos or GIFS, and comments.
  • Resso currently has in-house moderators and community guidelines for quality control, however, the process may become more difficult as more users jump on board.
ByteDance’s venture into music streaming involves making the experience more social with ‘vibes’ and comments on individual songs. However, this also means that the app will have to face the uncertainty around social media regulations in India.

“We follow all the guidelines that are given by the Government of India. There is a clear set of community guidelines within the app. On top of that, we have hundreds of moderators ensuring quality control,” said Resso’s head of music content and partnerships Hari Nair in an interview with Business Insider.

Resso will have to monitor two aspects of the app. One is comments, and the other is vibes — a feature that allows the user to post GIFs or short videos to songs.

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According to Nair, moderating comments is relatively easy. You can put filters in place and words are the only thing you have to keep an eye on. However, things get a little tricky when it comes to videos.

Manual control of visuals
Anyone can create a vibe and try to upload it, but it will have to clear Resso’s moderation policies. Since vibes are video clips, there is no filter in place that can detect if a video is infringing any licensing policy.


“Comments are easier. When it comes to visual, you have to see each and every image. You can see if its infringing any other IP. It could be a song from record label A but maybe pushing videos from a song that’s from record label B,” said Nair.

It’s also difficult to discern if there’s nudity or any inappropriate content without manual controls in place. “Over a period of time, you have to have manual moderations — on the vibes at least,” he said.

The challenge of addressing more users
Resso is targeting the 470 million users from Gen Z population in India. This means, if successful, there will be a lot more users on the platforms and a lot more vibes being created. Manual oversight over all of them will be a challenge set to grow with time.

“As users increase, the number of moderators will increase all,” said Nair. However, additional recruitment is usually a reaction once things have already started going downhill — like in the example of Facebook.

However, unlike Facebook, Resso does all of its quality control in-house and does not outsource to third-party moderators.

As of now, the Indian government does not have any social networking specific guidelines in place despite multiple attempts to regulate conversation online, making it difficult to navigate already uncertain seas.

Resso’s sister app TikTok was banned temporarily last year after petitioners accused the app of hosting child pornography. Any changes to the law in the near future could impact how stringently Resso will have to monitor the social exchanges on a music streaming app.

See also:
An Indian court has banned TikTok for ‘encouraging pornography’

TikTok owner ByteDance's new music streaming app Resso just launched in India — and betting on 'vibes' to beat Spotify, Gaana and JioSaavn