TikTok updates community, safety guidelines

The TikTok logo is displayed outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver City, California. — AFP/File
The TikTok logo is displayed outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver City, California. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: TikTok has announced its refreshed community guidelines, to ensure safety and transparency and standards for inclusion in the TikTok community which apply to everyone and everything on the platform, according to a statement.

The short video-sharing platform has also introduced community principles.

  • TikTok is advancing its rules for how they treat synthetic media, which is content created or modified by AI technology.
  • TikTok is adding 'tribe' as a protected attribute in their hate speech and hateful behaviour policies.
  • The platform will provide more detail about their work to protect civic and election integrity, including their approach to government, politician and political party accounts. 

Further, the presser stated that TikTok has also laid out the four pillars for their approach to moderation:

  • Remove violative content.
  • Age-restrict mature content, so it is only viewed by adults (18 years or older). However, the content must still abide by TikTok's Community Guidelines.
  • Make content ineligible for recommendation in the For You feed that isn't appropriate for a broad audience.
  • Empower TikTok's community with information tools and resources to stay in control of their experience. 

Today's update to TikTok's Community Guidelines also expands on their enforcement strategy by:

  • Sharing more information about the actions that the platform takes against accounts that violate their rules, following their update earlier this year, and clarifying that they do not allow the use of multiple accounts to intentionally bypass the platform's rules or their enforcement.
  • Explaining the considerations that TikTok takes into account when they enforce their rules based on public interests and the platform's approach to content that critiques public figures.
  • Including more detail about how TikTok uses informational labels, warnings, and opt-in screens.

The community principles will help users and the wider community to better understand the decisions about how the platform works to keep TikTok a safe place for users, stated the press release.

These principles are based on TikTok's commitment to upholding human rights and are aligned with international legal frameworks.

These principles guide TikTok's decisions about how they moderate content so that the platform can strive to be fair in its actions, protect human dignity, and strike a balance between freedom of expression and preventing harm, added the official statement.

"TikTok's new Community Guidelines will take effect on April 21 and over the coming months, the platform will provide additional training to their moderators in order to help enforce these updated rules and standards effectively as they start to roll out.

Rules and guidelines have now been organised thematically into different topic areas such as Behavioural and Mental Health.

For each topic, TikTok provides a brief explanation of what isn't allowed, followed by additional details such as definitions and the range of actions the platform might take if they are violated, the statement read.

Through these refreshed Community Guidelines, TikTok is offering their community more transparency around their rules and how they're enforced.

It takes a whole village to keep people safe online, and TikTok is grateful to everyone in the platform's community and to all of the external experts who have contributed and continue to help TikTok advance its rules and stay a step ahead of emerging threats.