Head of trust and safety for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Cormac Keenan said in a blog post, “Our community guidelines support the authentic and entertaining TikTok experience that people know and enjoy. They define a common code of conduct and encourage a welcoming community environment. We continually review and strengthen our policies to help everyone feel comfortable and safe to create and share on TikTok.”
Keenan added that the update adds more specifics to already existing guidelines based on behavior that has been seen on the video creation platform, feedback from its community and input from academics, civil society organizations and TikTok’s Content Advisory Council.
Feedback and language form mental health experts was used to sharpen TikTok’s policies on self-harm and suicide content and normalizing self-injury behaviors, and its policy on eating disorder content now has additional considerations to prevent glorifying dangerous weight loss behaviors.
TikTok’s policies on bullying and harassment are now more explicit regarding behaviors including doxing, cyberstalking and sexual harassment.
The platform’s minor safety policy now has a harmful activities section covering content promoting dangerous dares, games, and other acts that may jeopardize the safety of youth.
The policy on dangerous individuals and organizations was tweaked to more holistically on the issue of violent extremism, providing greater details on what is considered a threat or incitement to violence.
TikTok released new tools in November to support people with photosensitive epilepsy, and it will begin rolling out a text-to-speech feature that enables users to convert typed text to vice that plays over text and appears in videos.
The platform is also rolling out updated resources for people who may be struggling, created with guidance from behavioral psychologists and suicide prevention experts including Live for Tomorrow, Providence, Samaritans of Singapore and members of its Content Advisory Council.
Opt-in viewing screens are being introduced on top of videos that some people may find graphic or distressing. Keenan pointed out that videos of this type are already ineligible for recommendations in anyone’s For You feed.
With the Covid-19 vaccine becoming a reality, TikTok is updating its in-application coronavirus resource hub with authoritative information and commonly asked questions and answers, working with public health experts including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
TikTok is also partnering with Team Halo to enable scientists worldwide to share information on the progress being made with the vaccine.
Keenan said that when users open TikTok this month, they will be prompted to review its refreshed guidelines via in-app notifications, safety tools and videos.
He concluded, “Keeping our community safe is a commitment with no finish line. We recognize the responsibility we have to our users to be nimble in our detection and response when new kinds of content and behaviors emerge. To that end, we’ll keep advancing our policies, developing technology to automatically detect violative content, building features that help people manage their TikTok presence and content choices and empowering our community to help us foster a trustworthy environment. Ultimately, we hope these updates enable people to have a positive and meaningful TikTok experience.”