TikTok unveils updated community guidelines on content moderation

TikTok has refreshed its Community Guidelines, which set the rules and standards for being a part of the TikTok community, and they apply to all aspects of the platform.

As part of the latest update, TikTok has also shared its Community Principles for the first time. These principles are based on the company’s commitment to upholding human rights and are aligned with international legal frameworks. The Community Principles guide the platform’s decisions about how it
moderates content, with the aim of being fair, protecting human dignity, and balancing freedom of expression while guarding against and preventing harm.

To develop the last Community Principles, TikTok consulted over 100 organizations from around the world, as well as members of its community, to inform the most comprehensive update to the platform’s Community Guidelines to date. The input TikTok received helped it to strengthen the rules and respond to new threats and potential harms.

Some fundamental changes include advancing the rules for how the platform treats synthetic media, adding ‘tribe’ as a protected attribute in the hate speech and hateful behaviour policies, and providing more detail about the work to protect civic and election integrity.

The new Community Guidelines will take effect as from April 21, 2023. TikTok will provide additional training to its moderators in the coming months to help them enforce these updated rules and standards effectively as they roll out.

TikTok has also overhauled how its organizes its rules thematically into different topic areas. For each of these areas, such as Behavioral & Mental Health, they explain briefly what they don’t allow, then provide more details, such as definitions and the range of actions they might take. The platform has also laid out the four pillars of its approach to moderation: removing violative content, age-restricting mature content, making content ineligible for recommendation in the
For You feed that isn’t appropriate for a broad audience, and empowering the community with information, tools, and resources to stay in control of their experience.

TikTok’s update to their Community Guidelines also expands on the enforcement strategy by sharing more information about the actions the company takes against accounts that violate its rules, explaining the considerations it takes into account when enforcing the rules based on public interests, and including more detail about how it uses informational labels, warnings, and opt-in screens.

“TikTok is proud to share these refreshed Community Guidelines with their community and offer more transparency about their rules and how they enforce them. They believe everyone deserves to feel safe online and that feeling safe is vital to unlocking imagination and creative expression. TikTok will continue to invest in its work to keep its platform a safe, inclusive, and authentic home for its global community. They are grateful to everyone in the TikTok community and the external experts who have contributed and continue to help them advance their rules and stay ahead of emerging threats,” stated the short form video platform in a media announcement.


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