The video-focused networking platform TikTok is a social media sensation that took over the world ever since the app was launched in September 2016.
It has grown exponentially in the past many years and now it is one of the biggest social media platforms on the internet like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
The famous proverb “with great power comes great responsibility” fits aptly to TikTok because of its reach and influence it has on society at large.
TikTok has released new community guidelines on 8th February 2022 for its content creators to promote a safe and secure environment on its platform.
Let us discuss the new guidelines in our article below!
Here are TikTok’s new community guidelines!
In a blog post, TikTok said, “We’re making this change, in consultation with eating disorders experts, researchers, and physicians, as we understand that people can struggle with unhealthy eating patterns and behavior without having an eating disorder diagnosis.”
Why did TikTok bring new guidelines?
To bring improvement when it comes to user safety, and deal with different concerns stemming from TikTok videos, the company has come up with new updates to its existing guidelines. TikTok will notify all users about the new updates in the app in the coming weeks.
Experts have published several reports and opined their view about potential risks arising out of TikTok challenges and its impact on TikTok’s overwhelmingly young audience.
Tiktok guidelines state, “Content that encourages or promotes suicide or self-harm hoaxes is not allowed. This includes alarming warnings that could cause panic and widespread harm. We will remove such warnings while allowing content that seeks to dispel panic and promote accurate information about such hoaxes.”
Tiktok added, “The research showed how warnings about self-harm hoaxes – even if shared with the best of intentions – can impact the well-being of teens by treating the self-harm hoax as real. TikTok pledged to take action on this element, leading to this update, which will now broaden its enforcement action against such content.”
TikTok organized a large-scale study to understand the potential risk of its members participating in several challenges last year in the month of November. According to the synopsis of the report, even warnings about suicide hoaxes can cause angst among users which is akin to adding fuel to the fire.
Curb on spreading misinformation
TikTok has disclosed that it is targeting to crack down on overexercising or short-term fasting. Any video on its platform which is found to be spreading misinformation or not following its guidelines will be taken down by the TikTok team in the near future.
Check on spreading hateful ideologies
Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s Head of Trust and Safety, also addressed the new changes that the company has updated in its community guidelines for content that might spread ‘hateful ideologies.’
This change will also assist the company in cracking down on suicide hoaxes and other acts of self-harm.
TikTok bringing major changes with new guidelines
TikTok owned by Chinese company ByteDance has outlined a roadmap about setting up “state-of-the-art cyber incident monitoring and investigative response centers” in three cities (Washington DC, Dublin, and Singapore) in 2022. The company has also elaborated on how to identify, avoid, and report suspicious content on its platform.
Highlighting the risk in video clips that are trending and potential dangers arising from them, TikTok said, “As part of our ongoing work to help our community understand online challenges and stay safe while having fun, we’ve worked with experts to launch new videos from creators that call on our community to follow four helpful steps when assessing content online – stop, think, decide and act. Community members can also view these videos at our #SaferTogether hub on the Discover page over the next week.”
Some of the past trends like the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and ‘Momo’ are a matter of concern for the company as fictional characters play out a horror-like scenario. There are instances wherein these challenges expose users to dangerous behavioral pathways.
Curb on eating disorders
The company is also taking steps to have a check on the issues related to eating disorders. For this, they had discussions with eating disorder experts, researchers as well as physicians.
TikTok said regarding its approach to content related to eating disorder-related, “While we already remove content that promotes eating disorders, we’ll start to also remove the promotion of disordered eating.
We’re making this change, in consultation with eating disorders experts, researchers, and physicians, as we understand that people can struggle with unhealthy eating patterns and behavior without having an eating disorder diagnosis.”
The new push will assist the company in identifying concerns like over-exercise or certain types of fasting, which can lead to eating disorders, and tackle any potential harm.
Last but not the least, TikTok is also adding in more features to primarily focus on any potential unauthorized use of its platform including new rules against spamming, crawling TikTok for user info, and many others.
TikTok added, “In addition to educating our community on ways to spot, avoid, and report suspicious activity, we’re opening state-of-the-art cyber incident monitoring and investigative response centers 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 defenses.”
The challenge is never-ending for the company as whenever there is an update and shift in the company policy it is seen that bad actors also update their strategy and it is now even more important for TikTok to be precise in its approach and action at every turn.
If you want to go through the entire TikTok guidelines please visit here.