For obvious reasons, Trump does not have a Ticketlock account. But the president’s speeches helped to arouse the mob that stormed the US Capitol yesterday, with no home on Tiktok’s platform. The company confirmed ClearTips, its content policy around the capital riots, said it would remove videos of Trump’s speeches for supporters. It will also redirect specific hashtags used by rioters like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty to reduce visibility of their content in the app.
Tickcock says Trump’s speeches, where the president again repeated a fraudulent election claim, are being removed on the grounds that they violate the company’s misinformation policy. This policy defines misinformation as content that is false or incorrect. And it states that while Tiktok encourages people to have respectful conversations on topics that are important to them, it does not allow misinformation that can harm individuals, their community, or the elder.
A riotous mob’s intention to curb democratic processes in the United States fits squarely under that policy.
However, TikTok says it will allow calls to “counter speech” against the Trump video. It is a form of speech often used to fight misinformation, where the producer presents factual information or disputes the claims being made in another video. In November, TikTok allowed a counter-speech in response to claims by Trump supporters that the election was “rigged”, while blocking the top hashtags used to promote these ideas.
In the case of Trump’s speeches, TikTok will allow the user, for example, to use the green screen effect to comment on the speech – as long as those comments do not support the riots.
In addition, Tiktok is allowing some videos of violence that took place to reside in the Capitol. For example, if the video condemns violence or originates from a news organization, it may be allowed. TikTok is applying its recently launched opt-in screen to “newsworthy” content that can depict graphic violence.
These screens, announced in December, appear at the top of the video, causing some viewers to be graphic or disturbed. Implicit screened videos are already eligible for TikTok’s main “For You” feed, but may not be prohibited. When the viewer faces a screen, they can simply tap on a button to skip the video or they can choose to “watch anyway”. (However, it cannot provide any example of a screen in use.)
Unintentionally, we saw videos that showed the woman who was shot and murdered yesterday and she appears on Tiktok and then quickly vanishes. But what we came across was from individual users, not news organizations. They were not even really condemning the riot – they were just direct video footage. It is unclear whether the specific videos we watched were those that Tiktok censored himself or if the user chose to remove them instead.
Unlike graphic content, Tiktok says it will remove videos that try to incite violence, glorify or promote violence, as they also violate its community guidelines. In these cases, the videos will be removed as Tiktok recognizes them – either through automation or user reporting.
And, as it did in November, Tiktok is constantly stopping the hashtag to reduce the visibility of content. It is now blocking tags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty among others, and redirects those questions to its community guidelines. There are currently redirects in those hashtags and dozens of other forms. The company does not share its complete list to protect its security measures, it says.
TikTok previously blocked tags such as #stopthesteal and #QAnon in a similarly active manner.
We should indicate that for all of Twitter’s currency about security and moderation, it allowed Trump to return to his app, after some key tweets were removed. And the hashtags associated with false claims are yet to be blocked, such as #stopthesteal, Which is still working today. On the other hand, Facebook banned Trump for at least two weeks on Facebook and Instagram. Like TikTok, it previously blocked the #stopthesteal and #sharpiegate hashtags with a message about its community standards. (Today those searches are being misconstrued with messages that say “This page is not yet available,” we saw.)
Tiktok’s content moderation efforts are much stricter than other social networks, as it regularly hides, deletes, and deletes users’ posts. But it has also been accused of engaging in “censorship” by those who believe it is too aggressive about newsworthy content.
This causes users to find more creative ways to get their videos banned – such as using misspellings, coded language, or clever editing en route to tickpall policies. At other times, producers will simply and directly leave viewers on their Instagram where their content is backed up and less polished.
“Disgusting behavior and violence has no place on Tikotok,” a Tiktok spokesman said in a statement on the events in Capitol. “Content or accounts that try to violate our community guidelines, promote violence, promote them or promote violence will be removed and removed,” he said.