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TikTok rejigs policies to support community well-being

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(Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

TikTok has refreshed its community guidelines with additional details to strengthens its policies, to help users feel comfortable and safe to create and share.

The Community Guidelines are common code of conduct set to encourage a welcoming community environment and support the authentic and entertaining TikTok experience that people know and enjoy.

According to the updated policies, TIKTOK seeks to promote inclusive policies stating that these guidelines broadly cover 10 categories of content, and the latest update adds more specifics to each area based on behaviour seen on the platform, feedback heard from members of the TikTok community, and input from academics and civil society organisations.

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Also, TikTok wants its community to feel comfortable and confident when expressing themselves exactly as they are. However, the updated guidelines incorporate feedback and language used by mental health experts to improve the policies on self-harm and suicide and avoid normalising self-injury behaviours. TikTok’s policy on eating disorder content has additional considerations to prohibit normalising or glorifying dangerous weight-loss behaviours.

Furthermore, TikTok has bolstered its policies on bullying and harassment, and its guidelines are now more explicit about the types of content and behaviours that aren’t welcome on the platform, including doxxing, cyberstalking, and a more extensive policy against sexual harassment.

Again, TikTok’s restated commitment for the safety of every member of its community especially the well-being of the youth. In line with its dangerous acts policy, TikTok has always taken steps to either limit, label, or remove content that depicts dangerous acts or challenges. Now, TikTok added a harmful activities section to its minor safety policy to reiterate that content promoting dangerous dares, games, and other acts that may jeopardise the safety of youth is not allowed on the platform. TikTok encourages people to be creative and have fun, but not at the expense of an individual’s safety, or the safety of others.

Also, TikTok stands firmly against violence both online and offline with new resources to support well-being because as TikTok navigates challenging subjects like self-harm, compassion for survivors is front of mind. Over the coming weeks, TikTok will roll out updated resources to support people who may be struggling. These resources were created with guidance from leading behavioural psychologists and suicide prevention experts among others.

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Again, TikTok is also introducing opt-in viewing screens on top of videos that some may find graphic or distressing. These types of videos are already ineligible for recommendation into anyone’s for anyone’s feed, this feature aims to further reduce unexpected viewing of such content by offering viewers the choice to skip the video or watch it.

TikTok continues to develop tools to help people manage their app experience, from automatically filtering unwanted comments to the ability to say “not interested” on videos in their For You feed. This is especially important in TikTok’s efforts to support people who want to share their stories and use their voices to raise awareness on topics others may find triggering.

Since the pandemic, TikTok has provided access to public health information to the public through experts in-app and relief for frontline workers and families.

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