BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

TikTok updated community guidelines for stronger policies to promote safety, security – Mgwili-Sibanda

TikTok’s public policy and government relations director, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, has disclosed that the recently announced update to its Community Guidelines is to further support the well-being of its community and the integrity of the platform.

Mgwili-Sibanda said transparency with the community is important to TikTok and these updates clarify/expand upon the types of behaviour and content TikTok will remove from the platform or make ineligible for recommendation in the For You feed.

He said TikTok routinely strengthens its safeguards so that the platform can continue to bring people together to create, connect, and enjoy community-powered entertainment long-term.

“TikTok believes that people should be able to express themselves creatively and be entertained in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment. The Community Guidelines support that by establishing a set of norms so that people understand what kinds of content to create on the platform and viewers know what to report,” said Mgwili-Sibanda.

According to him, the policies are designed to foster an experience that prioritises safety, inclusion, and authenticity. He posits that TikTok takes into account emerging trends or threats observed across the internet and on the platform.

Hence, TikTok also listens to feedback from its community as well as other experts in areas like digital safety and security, content moderation, health and well-being, and adolescent development.

Mgwili-Sibanda disclosed further that some of the updates to be implemented by the platform include, strengthening its dangerous acts and challenges policy; broadening the approach to eating disorders; adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on the platform, and expanding the policy to protect the security, integrity, availability, and reliability of its platform.

“Additionally, the TikTok community can find more information about the content categories ineligible for recommendation into For You feeds. While the ability to discover new ideas, creators, and interests is part of what makes the platform unique, content in someone’s For You feed may come from a creator they haven’t chosen to follow or relate to an interest they haven’t previously engaged with.

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That’s why when TikTok comes across content that may not be appropriate for a general audience, which includes everyone from teens to great-great-grandparents, the platform does its best to remove it from its recommendation system,” Mgwili-Sibanda stated.

He posits further that every member of TikTok’s community will be prompted to read the updated guidelines when they open the app in the coming weeks. According to him, the strength of a policy lies in its enforceability.

“TikTok’s Community Guidelines apply to everyone and all content on TikTok, and the platform strives to be consistent and equitable in its enforcement,” said Mgwili-Sibanda, stating that TikTok uses a combination of technology and people to identify and remove violations of its Community Guidelines, and will continue training its automated systems and safety teams to uphold the policies.

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