Congratulations for the Semester Award HS21

Maximilian Böker

Maximilian Böker has been awarded a HS2021 Semester Award for his BSc thesis, entitled «An Empirical Analysis of the Recommendation Algorithm of TikTok».

The BSc thesis entitled «An Empirical Analysis of the Recommendation Algorithm of TikTok» was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Aniko Hannak. Maximilian Böker conducted an empirical audit of the recommendation algorithm of TikTok – one of the most popular social media platforms – to establish which features contribute to the personalization of TikTok based on the algorithmic decisions. Using a sock-puppet audit methodology, Maximilian evaluated how factors such as users' liking and following actions as well as their location and other characteristics affect the personalization of their TikTok's ForYou Feed page.

After the thesis was submitted and defended, Maximilian reworked it into a full scientific paper that was now accepted at The Web Conference 2022, one of the top venues in the field. The reviewers especially highlighted the novelty and technical implementation excellence of the work.