TikTok reaffirms commitment to safety with new Community Guidelines

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• Refreshed Community Guidelines underpinned by TikTok’s Community Principles

21 March 2023, Colombo: TikTok has announced their refreshed Community Guidelines, reaffirming their commitment to safety. TikTok’s Community Guidelines are the rules and standards for being part of the TikTok community which apply to everyone and everything on the platform. As a part of this announcement, the platform is also introducing TikTok’s Community Principles.

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. These principles are based on TikTok’s commitment to uphold human rights and 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 their actions, protect human dignity, and strike a balance between freedom of expression and preventing harm.

To inform the most comprehensive updates to TikTok’s Community Guidelines to date, the platform consulted more than 100 organisations around the world, including International Association for Suicide Prevention, and regionally with the Safety Advisory Council and SMEX in addition to members of their community. Their input helped TikTok to strengthen their rules and respond to new threats and potential harms. Some of the key changes are:
• TikTok is advancing their 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.
TikTok’s new Community Guidelines will take effect on April 21 and will provide additional training to their moderators in order to help enforce these updated rules and standards effectively.

Taking into account previous feedback, TikTok has brought everything about their rules and standards into one place so that everyone from creators to researchers can get what they need. Rules and guidelines have now been organized thematically into different topic areas such as Behavioural and Mental Health.

TikTok have also laid out the four pillars for their approach to moderation:
1. Remove violative content;
2. 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;
3. Make content ineligible for recommendation in the For You feed that isn’t appropriate for a broad audience;
4. 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.

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