Tiktok signs up to EU’s code of conduct on hate speech

TikTok is joining the European Commission's Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online

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Tiktok has signed up to the EU’s code of conduct on hate speech today, as it struggles to contain the spread of a suicide video on its platform. The video, which shows a person committing suicide, has been circulating on the app since Sunday night.

The code of conduct, which was set up in 2016 to combat disinformation and illegal hate speech online, is also signed by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Google’s Youtube and Snapchat.

“It’s good that Tiktok joined the code — a company favoured by young users who are particularly vulnerable to online abuse and illegal hate speech,” said European Commission vice president for values and transparency Vera Jourova.

“Of course, I expect Tiktok to adhere not only to the code’s principles, but also fully respect European law when operating on European soil.”

Tiktok updated its own content moderation systems late last year, labelling videos that are removed by the company with the policy category they violated.

Cormac Keenan, Head of Trust and Safety, EMEA said in a statement:

We have never allowed hate on TikTok, and we believe it’s important that internet platforms are held to account on an issue as crucial as this.

Our Community Guidelines – the standards we ask our growing global community to adhere to – prohibit any form of hateful speech or ideology. We have a zero-tolerance stance on organised hate groups and those associated with them, like accounts that spread or are linked to white supremacy or nationalism, male supremacy, anti-Semitism, and other hate-based ideologies. We also remove race-based harassment and the denial of violent tragedies, such as the Holocaust and slavery.

Our ultimate goal is to eliminate hate on TikTok. We recognise that this may seem an insurmountable challenge as the world is increasingly polarised, but we believe that this shouldn’t stop us from trying. Every bit of progress we make gets us that much closer to a more welcoming community experience for people on TikTok and out in the world.

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