TikTok Takes Major Step Forward in Aligning with US Regulations Through Updated Community Guidelines
23 Mar 2023
TikTok has announced updated Community Guidelines in an effort to better align with US regulations and avoid potential bans. The update, which will take effect on April 21, 2023, includes new rules related to synthetic media, hate speech, and election integrity efforts. The guidelines, which also align with international legal frameworks, are designed to ensure safety and transparency.
Synthetic Media Policy
TikTok's synthetic media policy has been updated to ensure that AI creations depicting realistic scenes must be labeled as such. The policy states that AI depictions of private citizens are not allowed, while depictions of public figures are allowed, as long as they are not used to endorse products or otherwise violate the platform’s policies. This ensures that politicians are not misrepresented via generative AI tools.
Hate Speech and Hateful Behavior
The hate speech and hateful behavior policy have been updated to include the term “tribe” as a protected attribute. This provides more culturally sensitive consideration, while TikTok has also added specific rules for protecting government and political party accounts and combating election misinformation.
It has also revised its approach to moderation to ensure safety and transparency. It has identified four pillars of its approach to moderation: removing rule-breaking content, limiting the age of mature content, prohibiting the recommendation of content in the "For You" feed, and giving the community information tools and resources to control its experience.
TikTok has also made it easier for users to understand its rules, with the guidelines now separated thematically into different topic areas. This ensures that users are aware of the platform’s rules and can follow them accordingly.
Benefits of Updated Guidelines
The updated guidelines have several benefits, including better aligning with US regulations and providing clear rules that protect politicians from misrepresentation via AI tools. It also provides more ways for TikTok to crack down on misuse and ensures that users are aware of the platform’s rules.
Separate Entity from Chinese Version
The updates also further separate TikTok from the rules applied in the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, which shows that TikTok is a separate entity and is not dictated by Chinese management. This will help to show that the platform is compliant with international regulations.
TikTok’s updated Community Guidelines are a major step forward in ensuring safety and transparency. The guidelines are designed to better align with US regulations and provide clear rules that protect politicians from misrepresentation. The updates also further separate TikTok from the rules applied in the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, which shows that the platform is compliant with international regulations.