TikTok Expands Community Guidelines; Bans Hateful Ideologies

TikTok Expands Community Guidelines; Bans Hateful Ideologies

George Hicks

TikTok, an emerging social media platform that allows its users to post short videos, has broadened its community guidelines. It calls for banning any content that may cause harm to the community by sexually objectifying minors or promoting hate.

TikTok clarified on a blog post that it wouldn’t allow any such content on the platform that may cause disturbance to the public. It also advised all its users not to post anything to incite hate or fear. Any content that may lead to the harming of an individual’s health will also be banned, along with any other misleading information that may influence the election process.

As far as TikTok’s old rules are concerned, they were mostly focussed on preventing scams and counterfeit identities. It has also changed its policies from time to time to avoid any financial loss for its users.

However, TikTok is yet to make any clarification on the process of identifying inappropriate content on its platform. As per experts, this clause may lead to various interpretations by the law enforcement agencies of many countries.

Apar Gupta, executive director at Internet Freedom Foundation, said, “Guidelines give censorial powers. It is a double-edged sword. A lot depends on the enforcement of these guidelines and how transparent and accountable the process is. Most social media platforms do it without a level of accountability.”

TikTok’s new guidelines have come after Facebook’s latest revelation that it doesn’t remove any fake news as it finds the line between fake news and satire is subjective. Facebook tries to limit the reach of such news on its users’ feeds. Facebook also said that it didn’t want to be an arbiter of truth.

It should be noted that a Chinese Startup ByteDance owns TikTok and it has recently witnessed backlash for allowing a plethora of sexual content on its platform involving children. It also allegedly limited the videos related to Hong Kong’s demonstration to please its masters in China.

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