TikTok has been subject to intense scrutiny recently over its censorship and moderation policies, and specifically the extent to which its global approach is guided by views on what is or isn’t acceptable in China. Now the company has published a revised and expanded set of its community guidelines, promising “greater transparency” and a clearer structure of 10 specific categories of unacceptable content.
In TikTok’s announcement there’s a nod to the China questions:
“Our global guidelines are the basis of the moderation policies TikTok’s regional and country teams localise and implement in accordance with local laws and norms.” There’s also a mission statement, of sorts: “spending time on TikTok is meant to be rewarding and fun. That doesn’t mean serious or controversial content doesn’t have a place on our platform; ultimately, the platform is built to support our users and their diverse thoughts, experiences, and interests. But our goal is to provide tools for users to foster their creativity and enjoy content that’s expressive, authentic, refreshing, and sometimes delightfully quirky – all within a supportive community environment.”
Based on initial coverage of the announcement, the headlines are being made by a ban on content that “misleads community members about elections or other civic process”, as well as a crackdown on “content depicting minors engaged in delinquent behaviour”.