TikTok Refreshed Its Community Guidelines

TikTok posted “Helping creators understand our rules with refreshed Community Guidelines”. It was written by Julie de Bailliencourt, Global Head of Product Policy, TikTok.

Today we are refreshing our Community Guidelines. These are the rules and standards for being part of the TikTok community, which is now more than 150 million people in the United States and more than 1 billion worldwide. These rules apply to everyone and everything on our platform.

As part of this, for the first time, we’re sharing TikTok’s Community Principles to help people understand our decisions about how we work to keep TikTok safe and build trust in our approach. These principles are based on our commitment to uphold human rights and aligned with international legal frameworks.

These principles guide our decisions about how we moderate content, so that we can strive to be fair in our actions, protect human dignity, and strike a balance between freedom of expression and preventing harm…

Advancing our rules for how we treat synthetic media, which is content created or modified by AI technology;

Adding ‘tribe’ as a protected attribute in our hate speech and hateful behavior policies;

More detail about how to work to protect civic and election integrity, including our approach to government, politician, and political party accounts.

TikTok also laid out the four pillars of their approach to moderation:

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

TechCrunch reported: The updated guidelines, which will go into effect on April 21, come as TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is slated to appear before Congress on March 23 amid growing security concerns. 

According to TechCrunch, as part of the updated guidelines, synthetic or manipulated media that shows realistic scenes must be clearly disclosed. The company said this can be done through the use of a sticker or caption, such as “synthetic,” “fake,” “not real” or “altered.”  TikTok notes that although it welcomes the creativity the AI unlocks, the technology can make it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction, which can lead to risks.

The Hill reported that last week, the Biden administration said it would ban the app in the U.S. if TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, did not sell its stake to an American company. 

According to The Hill, during a briefing call on Monday, Republican Congressional aides highlighted talking points they think the company may use to defend itself against criticism regarding the app.  They also expect Chew to argue against banning the app because of its popularity.

Considering all of this, it seems to me that there is nothing CEO Shou Zi Chew can say that would change the minds of the Biden administration, the security agencies, or Congress. Perhaps the solution is to ban TikTok. It could make room for an American company to create something similar.