INTERNATIONAL – Popular video-sharing app TikTok issued a broad ban on Wednesday against “misleading information” that could cause harm to its community or the public, setting itself apart from rivals like Facebook which say that they do not want to be arbiters of truth.
“We remove misinformation that could cause harm to an individual’s health or wider public safety. We also remove content distributed by disinformation campaigns,” TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, wrote in new guidelines which expand and add detail to its earlier rules.
TikTok, as a relative newcomer to the social media landscape, has yet to wrestle publicly with the persistent content moderation scandals that have dogged larger and more entrenched competitors.
However, the company has grown rapidly over the last year and come under scrutiny from US lawmakers concerned that it may be censoring politically sensitive content, following reports it blocked videos on protests in Hong Kong.
US officials have also raised national security concerns about TikTok’s handling of user data, prompting reviews by the US Army and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. TikTok says it stores US user data outside China.