TikTok adds more detail to bullying and harassment rules

The company introduced a new set of 'strengthened' community guidelines.

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Back in March, TikTok revealed the group of outside experts that would advise the company on content policies as part of its “Content Advisory Council.” Now, the company is introducing an updated set of community guidelines based on feedback from the group.

The company previously revamped its policies in January, when it added rules to address misinformation and “underage delinquent behavior.” This time around, the company notes that the new rules are primarily meant to “strengthen” existing policies. 

For example, the new guidelines add more detail to rules prohibiting bullying and harassment on the platform in order to be “more explicit” about issues like doxxing, cyberstalking and sexual harassment. Likewise, the new rules also more clearly define what content it considers a threat or incitement to violence. TikTok has also added new rules aimed at underage users to bar “content promoting dangerous dares, games, and other acts that may jeopardize the safety of youth.”

While the app’s previous rules already barred much of this type of content, the new guidelines could make it easier for the app’s moderators to consistently enforce the rules. It should also make things more clear for users, who have sometimes complained when the app takes action against the. In a recent high-profile example, Perez Hilton was banned from the app after TikTok said he had repeatedly broken its rules around bullying.

In addition to the new rules, TikTok is introducing other new “well-being” features. The changes include a new warning screen users can opt into if they want to see a notice before a video that “some may find graphic or distressing.” The app will also update its coronavirus hub with vaccine information from public health experts, and add new mental health resources to its support page for users who may be in crisis.

The new policies come as TikTok continues to negotiate with the US government over its future after multiple lawsuits and threats of a ban. The company was also one of several social media apps asked by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose privacy practices and how their policies affect children and teens.

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