wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

TikTok’s localised content moderation bans pro-LGBT and various political content: reports

Screenshots from TikTok App

TikTok bans any content that could be seen as positive to gay people or to gay rights, even those with same-sex couples holding hands, and even in countries where homosexuality has never been illegal, reports The Guardian. TikTok also censors content that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, the banned religious group Falun Gong, among others. Earlier this month, it was reported that TikTok was most likely censoring content around the Hong Kong protests, searches for Hong Kong revealed “barely a hint of unrest in sight”.

What all TikTok bans: TikTok’s guidelines divided the content into two: ‘violations’, which is deleted from the platform entirely; and ‘visible to self’, which leaves content up but limits its distribution. The bulk of TikTok’s guidelines covering China are in a section governing “hate speech and religion”. It also bans a list of 10 “foreign leaders or sensitive figures” including Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, Joko Widodo among others.

TikTok has adopted a localised moderation approach: TikTok told the Guardian that it had adopted a local content moderation, and is working to “empower local teams that have a nuanced understanding of each market”. These general guidelines were replaced in May 2019 with “localised approaches, including local moderators, local content and moderation policies, local refinement of global policies”. It has implemented this localised approach across everything from product, to team, to policy development.

What are the specifics of the local guidelines? TikTok runs two other sets of guidelines along with the general moderation guidelines. The ‘strict’ guidelines are used in conservative countries, where ‘partially naked buttocks’ would be banned.

For instance, TikTok has specific guidelines for Turkey that ban content relating to Kurdish separatism. Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan cannot be criticised, defamed, or spoofed on TikTok.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

TikTok also bans content that’s legal, for instance in Turkey: But TikTok also bans content which is legal and accepted in Turkey, such as those relating to alcohol consumption, and depictions of non-Islamic gods, and homosexuality.

Censoring content around homosexuality: Intimate activities (holding hands, touching, kissing) between homosexual lovers” was censored, so was “reports of homosexual groups, including news, characters, music, TV show, pictures”. Even content about “protecting rights of homosexuals (parade, slogan, etc.)” and “promotion of homosexuality” were banned. TikTok went “substantially further” than required by law in following all those guidelines, said The Guardian.

How TikTok regulates child porn: TikTok’s policy on “underage pornography” has four categories of underage users: an infant; under a year old; 1-8 years old; an adolescent; and if it’s unclear if a user is under 18, the guidelines ask the moderator to treat the user as an adult. TikTok says it has since reversed the policy, and now requires moderators to treat people as under 18 if there was any doubt.

Is this localised approach applicable in India? It’s unclear if TikTok adopts a localised content moderation approach for India, although the localised moderation approach was adopted in May 2019. What we know is that (as of July) Bytedance had 1,000 moderators, including contractors and vendors, moderating content across approximately 15 languages. Bytedance plans to expand this to 3,000 people by 2020.

India, Turkey, Pakistan among top 10 markets: TikTok’s top user base is India, where it had 200 million registered and 120 million active users as of June 2019. As of July 2019, its second largest market is USA, then Indonesia. This is followed by Pakistan, Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand, Japan, Russia, and Egypt.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

While the market reality of popular crypto-assets like Bitcoin may undergo little change, the same can't be said for stablecoins.

News

Bringing transactions related to crypto-assets within the tax net could make matters less fuzzy.

News

Loopholes in FEMA and the decentralised nature of crypto-assets point to a need for effective regulations.

News

The need of the hour is for lawmakers to understand the systems that are amplifying harmful content.

News

For drone delivery to become a reality, a permissive regulatory regime is a prerequisite.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ