TikTok recently announced several changes to its service that will include increased enforcement against bad actors.
The changes will also include tests of new user-facing tools that will force a refresh of the app’s main algorithmic feed, referred to as the For You feed.
According to the company, these changes are to focus on keeping the platform both safe and entertaining for its users and creators alike.
Traditionally, all major social media companies have content guidelines but only vary in their degrees of enforcement. Ideally, violators of these rules face the consequences with the takedowns of their content or bans but they often refuse to learn from their mistakes, only ending up as repeat violators.
At the time of this report, TikTok’s enforcement system includes a variety of penalties, like temporary bans on posting or commenting, designed to reduce harmful content on the platform.
In a clear case of admission, TikTok’s Global Head of Product Policy, Julie de Bailliencourt, hints: "Creators complain that the current system can be confusing to navigate — especially if they don’t typically break TikTok’s rules or have unknowingly violated policy, and aren’t sure why they’ve been penalized.
"What’s more, this system is not efficient at deterring repeat violators.
“Repeat violators tend to follow a pattern – our analysis has found that almost 90% violate using the same feature consistently, and over 75% violate the same policy category repeatedly."
As a result, TikTok will move instead to a strike system, similar to YouTube.
In all but the most severe cases, creators will accrue strikes as their content is removed.
If they then reach a threshold of strikes within either a product feature (like comments or TikTok LIVE) or policy (like bullying or harassment), they will be permanently banned.
The company said the threshold will vary depending on the violation and its potential to harm community members.
It said, for instance, there may be a lower threshold for violating hateful content policies than there would be for posting low-harm spam.
TikTok will still issue permanent bans for severe violations, like videos that are “promoting or threatening violence, showing or facilitating child sexual abuse material (CSAM), or showing real-world violence or torture,” the post said.
The accumulated strikes will expire from an account’s record after 90 days but account that “accrue a high number of cumulative strikes across policies and features” will be permanently banned.
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