Top line

In a blog post on Wednesday, TikTok pledged to do more against hateful content on its platform, promising to remove content harmful to the LGBTQ + community, related to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and misinformation about Jews, Muslims and others spreading communities, further escalating the ongoing efforts of social media companies to combat harmful content and misinformation.

TikTok is stepping up its crackdown on hateful content

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Key factors

TikTok said it would step up efforts to tackle hateful content near neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideologies that the company claims it is already working hard to eradicate, including white nationalism and white genocide theory.

Content rooted in these ideologies, such as male supremacy and identitarianism, will also be removed.

Content that is harmful to the LGBTQ + community will also be removed, including “The Idea that No One Is Born LGBTQ +” and content related to conversion therapy.

TikTok said it would also do more to clean up misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim, and other communities, as well as misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families “used as proxy for spreading anti-Semitism.”

With the support of scholars and experts from around the world, TikTok said it would take steps to proactively protect its users, including cracking down on “coded language and symbols that can normalize hateful language and behavior.”

Key background

While TikTok previously banned content denying the Holocaust, a BBC investigation found that the platform’s algorithm circulated an anti-Semitic song earlier this year, which eventually drew 6.5 million views. The platform later deleted the clip, but was again asked to regulate its content and algorithm, and was also accused of having a “Nazi problem”. Social media companies faced with calls from lawmakers and activists are grappling with a growing epidemic of hateful and untrue content on their platforms, and often find themselves on the narrow line between allegations of censorship and the spread of hatred and lies. Misinformation and conspiracy theories have done this become particularly problematic in the context of a global pandemic and the upcoming US elections, as TikTok previously banned content promoting the QAnon conspiracy and has joined Twitter, YouTube and Facebook cracking down on accounts related to conspiracy theory.

further reading

TikTok Bans Accounts That Spread QAnon Theories And Disinformation (Forbes)

TikTok plans to do more against hateful content after reports of a “Nazi Problem” (CNBC).

Twitter, according to Facebook, allegedly bans Holocaust denial (Forbes)