TikTok updates policy on countering misinformation

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Popular video-sharing app, TikTok, remains committed to the fight against misinformation on its platform. To help keep the experience on its platform welcoming and authentic for everyone, TikTok actively removes content which violates its information policies. As part of these efforts, the platform’s report for April-June, published today, has shown visible improvements made in countering misinformation.

Tiktok’s integrity policies aim to promote a trustworthy, authentic experience. Within those, our harmful misinformation policies prohibit content that could mislead our community about civic processes, public health, or safety. For instance, we do not allow medical misinformation about vaccines or COVID-19 and we do not allow misinformation about voting. These policies can be applied to a wide range of content, and that’s by design; this content is constantly changing, often based on what’s happening in the world.

In addition to removing content that is inaccurate and harms our users or community, TikTok also removes accounts that seek to mislead people or use TikTok to deceptively sway public opinion. These activities range from inauthentic or fake account creation to more sophisticated efforts to undermine public trust. These actors never stop evolving their tactics, and the platform continually seeks to strengthen our policies as we detect new types of content and behaviours.

The crux of TikTok’s approach to countering misinformation is centred around a combination of technology and thousands of safety professionals working together to enforce our Community Guidelines. To do this effectively at scale, the platform continues to invest in technology-based flagging as well as moderation. The platform relies on an automated moderation when our systems have a high degree of confidence that content is violative so that we can expeditiously remove violations of our policies.

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Also, due to the contextual basis of some information, TikTok works with specialised misinformation moderators who have enhanced training, expertise, and tools to take action on misinformation. This includes direct access to our fact-checking partners who help assess the accuracy of the content. There are also more than a dozen fact-checking partners around the world that review content in over 30 languages. All of our fact-checking partners are accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network as verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles. Out of an abundance of caution, while content is being fact-checked or when content can’t be substantiated through fact-checking, it becomes ineligible for recommendation into TikTok’s hugely popular For You feeds. If fact-checkers confirm content to be false, we may remove the video from our platform or make the video ineligible for recommendation into For You feeds.

Here are some other key efforts being made in the fight to combat misinformation:

  • continued investment in machine learning models and increased capacity to iterate on these models rapidly given the fast-changing nature of misinformation.
  • improved detection of known misleading audio and imagery to reduce manipulated content.
  • a database of previously fact-checked claims to help misinformation moderators make swift and accurate decisions.
  • a proactive detection program with our fact-checkers who flag new and evolving claims they’re seeing across the internet. This allows us to look for these claims on our platform and remove violations. Since starting this program last quarter, we identified 33 new misinformation claims, resulting in the removal of 58,000 videos from the platform.

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