TikTok refreshes its Community Guidelines following UK government ban

The Chinese-owned app has released new guidelines, updating privacy and regulation principles in light of security concerns from global governments

TikTok has announced its most comprehensive Community Guidelines refresh to date, effective on 21 April. 

These are the rules and standards for being part of the TikTok community which apply to everyone and everything on the platform.

Based on feedback from its community and consultation with over 100 organisations across the world, the update will advance its commitment to transparency by giving everyone more information about its safety policies and how it enforces them. 

This includes:

  • Publishing Community Principles for the first time, which underpin the Community Guidelines and the app’s commitment to human rights;
  • Introducing a more readable structure with new topic areas; 
  • Providing more information about policies and the actions taken to enforce them.

The news comes as the Chinese-owned platform is “disappointed” in the UK government joining other governing bodies that have banned the app on government devices for fear of threats to national privacy and security. 

Julie de Bailliencourt, Global Head of Product Policy, TikTok, released a statement: “We're sharing TikTok's Community Principles to help people understand our decisions about how we work to keep TikTok safe and build trust in our approach. These principles are based on our commitment to uphold human rights and aligned with international legal frameworks.

“These principles guide our decisions about how we moderate content, so that we can strive to be fair in our actions, protect human dignity, and strike a balance between freedom of expression and preventing harm.”

Some of the key changes are:

  • advancing rules for content created or modified by AI technology;
  • adding 'tribe' as an attribute in hate speech and hateful behaviour policies;
  • more detail about our work to protect civic and election integrity, including our approach to government, politician and political party accounts.  

“We're proud to be sharing these refreshed Community Guidelines offering our community much more transparency about our rules and how we enforce them,” added de Bailliencourt. 

“It takes a whole village to keep people safe online, so we're grateful to everyone in the TikTok community and to all of the external experts who have contributed and continue to help us advance our rules and stay a step ahead of emerging threats.”