TikTok Will Flag And Restrict Unfold Of Movies In Case Of ‘Inconclusive’ Reality Checks

Top line

TikTok on Wednesday unveiled new guidelines to combat misinformation on its platform, announcing that it will flag unsubstantiated videos to limit their distribution if its fact-checking partners fail to verify the facts of the content.

TikTok is expanding its efforts to contain misinformation.

AFP via Getty Images

Key factors

In a blog post on Wednesday, TikTok said it will not recommend videos for people’s “For You” feeds if the verification of the content is inconclusive or if its accuracy cannot be verified, thereby limiting its reach.

TikTok acknowledges that the new rule is likely to affect videos about events that can be difficult to accurately verify.

When a viewer encounters a tagged video, a banner will appear over it, alerting the user that the content has not been reviewed.

The uploader of the video will also be informed of the warning label on their video and the fact that their video has been marked as unverified.

Viewers who try to share the video will also see a popup reminding them that the video has been marked as unverified. At this point, they can cancel it or share it anyway.

The new guideline will be introduced for the first time in the USA and Canada on Wednesday and will gradually be introduced worldwide over the next few weeks.

tangent

TikTok relies on third-party partners to verify facts. In the US, these partners include PolitiFact, Lead Stories, and SciVerify, who rate videos on citizen processes such as elections, public health, science, and other topics.

Key background

TikTok and other social media companies have stepped up their moderation efforts since Election Day. Days after the election, TikTok removed several videos that contained misinformation about election fraud. The video-sharing platform cracked down on videos of Donald Trump making false claims about election results after violent Trump supporters broke into the Capitol to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The company has also removed several hashtags, including #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty, to reduce the reach of related content. However, TikTok’s recent move appears to recognize the limits of misinformation when verifying facts, especially during unfolding events. The new guidelines would therefore allow the company to limit the distribution of questionable videos without removing them. TikTok has always claimed that it sees itself as the home of fun, lighthearted content, but over the past few months the company has reluctantly tried at times to combat political misinformation.

further reading

TikTok to Flag and Downgrade “Unsubstantiated” Claims That Fact Checkers Can’t Verify (TechCrunch)

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