In an effort to alleviate spread of misinformation in popular video social media platform Tiktok, the company has announced new privacy guidelines last Wendensday. The new guidelines include heightening fact-checking measures and implementing user notifications and cautions of possible unverified information.

 Tiktok to Begin Notifying Users of Misleading Content to Prevent Spread of Misinformation
(Photo : Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash)

According to Jamie Favazza, TikTok's director of communications for policy and safety, in an interview with CNBC news, the new privacy changes aim at advancing media literacy among users at the platform. Furthermore, it has commenced its effect for U.K and U.S users immediately following the announcement.

Tiktok Works With Fact Checking Partners to Verify Information

On the usual, TikTok videos are fact-checked when they have been marked by a flag by users. Most of these topics involve misinformation regarding Covid-19, elections, or vaccines. Usually, they are political or scientific in nature. 

Under the new measures, when a certain content is not yet verified as accurate, it will be marked with a label that notifies users it "includes unverified information." It will prevent users from sharing misinformation and misleading content all over social media. 

In the event that TikTok is uncertain about the validity of information, they reach out to partners such as PolitiFact and Lead Stories to perform fact-checking investigations. Fact-checking and othe security measures have been implemented by TikTok since its public exposure of security flaws, according to NY Times.

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TikTok Heightens Intervention with 'Caution' Signals and 'Unverified Information' Banners

With the new guidelines, these fact-checking efforts will be heightened at all times. When information is unverifiable, Tiktok Flags a label on the unverified information. 

Furthermore, users who upload or share this unverified content will get a "caution" prompt asking whether they still want to share it despite the unverified information status. The users will still have the choice to cancel the upload or continue uploading it. 

"Your moment to intervene is so brief," Gosnell said. "That's part of why we landed on the word 'caution.' The word 'caution' immediately signals, 'Hey, I should really pay attention here.'" Evelyn Gosnell, the managing director at Irrational Labs said in an interview via NBC news. 

According to her, the policy is important in preventing further spread of misinformation that may cause irreversible negative effects. Recently, events in social media have caused unwanted effects both politically and socially. Thus, social media sites are now improving their privacy guidelines to prevent the spread of information.

However, once the video is confirmed to hold misinformation, it is immediately taken down from TikTok, although users may still appeal if they insist that their content is verified. In the same way, previously flagged videos that turn out to be verified may bring back its default status.

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Written by Nikki D

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