TikTok is expanding its community guidelines and rolling out new features focused on well-being.
The social media platform has updated its guidelines to incorporate feedback from mental health experts to improve its policies on self-harm and suicide content and to avoid normalizing self-harm.
It has also updated its policy on eating disorder content to prevent the normalization or glorification of dangerous weight loss behaviours. Unfortunately, TikTok is filled with numerous quick weight-loss tips aimed at young people, which in some cases could be quite harmful.
Further, TikTok says its guidelines are now more explicit about the types of content that aren’t welcome on the platform, such as doxxing and cyberstalking.
“We’ve added a harmful activities section to our minor safety policy to reiterate that content promoting dangerous dares, games, and other acts that may jeopardize the safety of youth is not allowed on TikTok,” the company notes.
Its new guidelines also describe what’s considered a threat or incitement to violence and behaviour that it prohibits.
Over the coming weeks, TikTok is rolling out updated resources to support people who may be struggling. For instance, if someone searches for terms like “self harm,” they’ll see resources that can help them.
“We’re also introducing opt-in viewing screens on top of videos that some may find graphic or distressing,” TikTok states. It’s somewhat surprising that this wasn’t already part of the platform, considering the graphic videos that have managed to go viral on the app in the past.
TikTok is also going to update its COVID-19 research hub with commonly asked questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccines.