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Home TechSocial media TikTok announces new Community Guidelines for safety, security and well-being on the platform

TikTok announces new Community Guidelines for safety, security and well-being on the platform

by Val Lukhanyu
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TikTok is updating its Community Guidelines to further support the well-being of its community and the integrity of the platform.

TikTok routinely strengthens its safeguards its community guidelines to bring people together to create, connect, and enjoy community-powered entertainment long-term. Transparency with the community is important to TikTok and these updates clarify or expand upon the types of behaviour and content TikTok will remove from the platform or make ineligible for recommendation in the feed.

The social media giant believes that people should be able to express themselves creatively and be entertained in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment. The Community Guidelines support that by establishing a set of norms so that people understand what kinds of content to create on the platform and viewers know what to report. The policies are designed to foster an experience that prioritises safety, inclusion, and authenticity.

They take into account emerging trends or threats observed across the internet and on the platform. TikTok also listens to feedback from its community as well as other experts in areas like digital safety and security, content moderation, health and well-being, and adolescent development.

Some of the main updates being announced today and implemented over the next few weeks include:

Strengthening its dangerous acts and challenges policy. 

TikTok continues to enact the stricter approach it previously announced to help prevent such content – including suicide hoaxes – from spreading on the platform. This previously sat within TikTok’s suicide and self-harm policies, but will now be highlighted in a separate policy category with more detail so it’s even easier for the community to familiarise themselves with these guidelines.

Broadening the approach to eating disorders.

While TikTok already removes content that promotes eating disorders, the platform will start to also remove the promotion of disordered eating. TikTok is making this change, in consultation with eating disorders experts, researchers, and physicians, as it understands that people can struggle with unhealthy eating patterns and behaviour without having an eating disorder diagnosis. The aim is to acknowledge more symptoms, such as overexercise or short-term fasting, that are frequently under-recognised signs of a potential problem. This is an incredibly nuanced area that’s difficult to consistently get right, and so TikTok is working to train its teams to remain alert to a broader scope of the content.

Adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on the platform. 

This includes deadnaming, misgendering, or misogyny as well as content that supports or promotes conversion therapy programs. Though these ideologies have long been prohibited on TikTok, the platform has heard from creators and civil society organisations that it’s important to be explicit in our Community Guidelines.

Expanding the policy to protect the security, integrity, availability, and reliability of our platform.

This includes prohibiting unauthorised access to TikTok, as well as TikTok content, accounts, systems, or data, and prohibiting the use of TikTok to perpetrate criminal activity. In addition to educating the community on ways to spot, avoid, and report suspicious activity, TikTok is opening state-of-the-art cyber incident monitoring and investigative response centres in Washington DC, Dublin, and Singapore this year. TikTok’s Fusion Center operations enable follow-the-sun threat monitoring and intelligence gathering, as we continue working with industry-leading experts to test and enhance our defences.

Additionally, the TikTok community can find more information about the content categories ineligible for recommendation into For You feeds. While the ability to discover new ideas, creators, and interests is part of what makes the platform unique, content in someone’s For You feed may come from a creator they haven’t chosen to follow or relate to an interest they haven’t previously engaged in with. That’s why when TikTok comes across content that may not be appropriate for a general audience, which includes everyone from teens to great-great-grandparents, the platform does its best to remove it from its recommendation system.

Every member of TikTok’s community will be prompted to read the updated guidelines when they open the app in the coming weeks.

Driven by its passion to help everyone have a good and enriching experience on the platform, TikTok has made significant strides to improve its policies and enforcement, including its efficacy, speed, and consistency, though the platform recognises there’s no finish line when it comes to keeping people safe.

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