TikTok: How the App is Regulating Content

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⚠️TW: Mention of dieting and disordered eating⚠️ Say goodbye to “What I eat in a day!” - TikTok bans content which promotes disordered eating.

  • Last week, TikTok announced they would be regulating content to promote the “security, safety and well-being” of users. The shift includes a ban on disordered eating content.
  • The app already removes content which explicitly promotes eating disorders. TikTok’s Head of trust and safety Cormac Keenan explains that it is now taking a step to “broaden its approach” in the area.
  • Yet, TikTok has failed to remove content which promotes caloric restrictions, harmful fasts, cleansing or overexercising all of which can be dangerous but falls under the disguise of “wellness”.
  • Removing all content that falls within this category will be a challenge. However, for a handful of TikTok’s billion users, 25% of whom are younger than 20, it may improve their safety online.
  • Some experts have criticized TikTok’s failure to separate the announcement on eating disordered content ban, from their tackling of hate speech - which involves a ban on deadnaming and misgendering.
  • It has been suggested that lumping the two announcements together could lead to the stigmatization of eating disorders. The moderation of this content should be extremely sensitive.
The New York Times
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