TikTok has been secretly handpicking certain videos and promoting them on the "For You" page, according to current and former employees of the company and internal documents reviewed by Forbes. This practice, known as "heating," has been used to boost videos and achieve a certain number of views, without publicly disclosing the practice. This raises questions about the platform's influence on content distribution and potential manipulation of brands and influencers' success. Employees have also been found to misuse heating privileges, using it for personal gain, and documents reveal staff have considerable discretion in deciding which content to promote. This undermines the idea of social media as democratizing platform, where everyone has the same opportunity to reach an audience.