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Bytedance’s video app TikTok bans ‘misleading information’

SAN FRANCISCO: In style video-sharing app TikTok issued a broad ban on Jan eight in opposition to “deceptive data” that might trigger hurt to its neighborhood or the general public, setting itself other than rivals like Fb which say that they don’t need to be arbiters of reality.

“We take away misinformation that might trigger hurt to a person’s well being or wider public security. We additionally take away content material distributed by disinformation campaigns,” TikTok, owned by Chinese language tech firm ByteDance, wrote in new pointers which broaden and add element to its earlier guidelines.

TikTok, as a relative newcomer to the social media panorama, has but to wrestle publicly with the persistent content material moderation scandals which have dogged bigger and extra entrenched rivals.

Nevertheless, the corporate has grown quickly over the past yr and are available underneath scrutiny from US lawmakers involved that it might be censoring politically delicate content material, following stories it blocked movies on protests in Hong Kong.

US officers have additionally raised nationwide safety considerations about TikTok’s dealing with of consumer knowledge, prompting opinions by the US Military and the Committee on Overseas Funding in america. TikTok says it shops US consumer knowledge exterior China.

Based on knowledge from analysis agency Sensor Tower, TikTok and its Chinese language counterpart Douyin have been downloaded greater than 1.5 billion occasions, together with 680 million downloads in 2019.

TikTok’s earlier guidelines round “deceptive content material” appeared to focus totally on scams, barring customers from creating pretend identities or posting false data to generate income, however didn’t point out misinformation or disinformation campaigns.

Against this, the brand new guidelines explicitly ban “misinformation meant to incite concern, hate, or prejudice”, “deceptive details about medical remedies”, and “content material that misleads neighborhood members about elections or different civic processes”.

The rules didn’t clarify how TikTok would decide what constitutes “deceptive” content material and appeared to go away leeway for interpretation in enforcement choices.

A spokesman stated the brand new coverage would doubtless immediate the elimination of content material that includes conspiracy theories like Pizzagate, a fictitious story involving youngster exploitation and a supposedly Clinton-linked Washington pizzeria which went viral on social media in 2016 and prompted a person to fireplace an assault rifle on the pizzeria.

The spokesman stated TikTok would additionally think about a closely edited video that tried to make US Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear incoherent to be misinformation. Fb and Twitter weathered intense criticism from Democrats over the video this yr after declining to take it down.

On Jan 6, Fb introduced a brand new coverage banning deepfakes and different manipulated media, however stated the change wouldn’t consequence within the elimination of the doctored Pelosi video. – Reuters

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