TikTok issues new guidelines in war on misinformation

TikTok has become an integral part of social media culture, offering a space for creativity, entertainment and community interaction.

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Video-sharing platform TikTok has unveiled new community guidelines to curb the spread of hate speech and misinformation on the app.

The policy updates, which take effect this month, will see creators who repeatedly post content that goes against the set standards temporarily suspended from recommendation in the ‘For You’ feed, meaning that the account and content will be harder to find in search.

The platform, however, says owners of restricted accounts will be notified and accorded a chance to appeal.

“The warning strike does not count towards an account’s strike tally, but any future violations will. Zero-tolerance policies (for example, incitement to violence) aren’t eligible for these reminders; accounts will immediately be banned,” said TikTok.

In the new guidelines, a creator who violates the policy for the first time will receive a warning strike and be notified about which rule has been broken and how to appeal if one believes a mistake has been made.

The platform has also rolled out a new feature dubbed ‘Account Check’ that will allow creators to check their account status and audit their last 30 posts to ascertain that they are in good standing with the app’s standards.

“Account Check will also include information about whether access to certain features, like comments or direct messaging, has been restricted due to violations. Creators will also be able to see whether their content has been removed for breaking our rules or has been restricted from reaching the For You feed,” stated the platform.

TikTok has lately faced headwinds, especially in the US, where President Joe Biden has signed into law a Bill that could see the platform banned unless it is sold within a year.

The signing of the Bill last week was the culmination of claims that the Chinese-owned platform shares user data with Beijing for surveillance. The US move came at a time when Kenya is among a growing list of nations seeking to regulate TikTok in a bid to fight false information, fraud, and the distribution of sexual content.

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