TikTok, a popular short-form video social media platform, published its April-June Community Guidelines Enforcement report, which aims to show the improvements it has made in countering misinformation spread by its users.
The company's "harmful misinformation" policies prohibit content that could mislead the community about civic processes, public health or safety. For instance, TikTok does not allow medical misinformation about vaccines or Covid-19.
To promote election integrity, TikTok created an Elections Center to provide access to authoritative information about voting in elections in the US from organisations like the National Association of Secretaries of State and Ballotpedia, though it has yet to create an equivalent means of preventing misinformation about elections taking place in all countries where it operates.
According to TikTok, in order to help keep the platform welcoming and authentic for everyone, it removes content that violates its policies.
"Misinformation is not a new problem, but the internet provides a new avenue to an old challenge. We recognize the impact misinformation can have in eroding trust in public health, electoral processes, facts, and science,” said Cormac Keenan, Head of Trust and Safety at TikTok.
TikTok reported that since starting their programme last quarter, they had identified 33 new misinformation claims that resulted in the removal of 58,000 videos from the platform.
Based on TikTok’s data, in Cambodia the total removals are at 796,453 clips with 99.5 per cent of the clips removed before users reported them along with a removal rate of videos with zero views of 90.1 per cent and a removal rate within 24-hours of being posted at 94.4 per cent.
It said that its platform uses a combination of technology and thousands of content moderation professionals who work together to enforce its community guidelines and that the company intends to continually invest in technology-based flagging as well as human moderation.
The platform relies on automated moderation when its systems have a high degree of confidence that content is in violation of its terms so that it can expeditiously remove anything against its policies.
In addition to removing content that is inaccurate and harms the community, TikTok also removes accounts that seek to mislead people or use TikTok to deceptively sway public opinion. These activities range from inauthentic or fake account creation to more sophisticated efforts to undermine public trust.
“We are committed to being part of the solution. We treat misinformation with the utmost seriousness. We take a multi-pronged approach to stop it from spreading, while elevating authoritative information and investing in digital literacy education to help get ahead of the problem at scale,” Keenan said.
TikTok said it has more than a dozen fact-checking partners around the world that review content in over 30 languages and that all of its fact-checking partners are accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network as verified signatories of the International Fact-Checking Network's code of principles. Khmer is not one of the 30 languages.
TikTok states that it has developed some key features to improve detecting and removing misinformation through continuing investment in machine learning models and increased capacity to iterate on these models rapidly given the fast-changing nature of misinformation, improving detection of known misleading audio and imagery to reduce manipulated content and introducing a database of previously fact-checked claims to help misinformation moderators make swift and accurate decisions.
Lastly, the platform said it will continue with a proactive detection programme with fact-checkers who flag new and evolving claims they're seeing across the internet allowing TikTok to look for these claims on its platform and remove violations.
While violations of TikTok's integrity and authenticity policies make up less than one per cent of overall video removals, these continued investments have brought gains to TikTok's proactive detection and enforcement of these policies, TikTok claimed.