TikTok already has a content monitoring system that checks videos for harmful or misleading content, and gets them removed if deemed necessary. In some scenarios though, the information in a video might fall in a grey area where its accuracy and veracity can not be fully ascertained. And even they are not removed, TikTok prevents them from appearing in the For You feed. For the latter class, TikTok is now adding an extra layer of precaution by informing users if a video contains unverified information.
TikTok’s audience will now see a label at the top of such videos that clearly says that it has been flagged for unverified content. And this applies not just for viewers, but creators as well. The company will also inform creators of these videos that an ‘unverified content’ label has been added to their video. As mentioned above, these videos won’t be deleted after being flagged and others will be able to view them too, but with a label on top warning them about its potentially misleading contents.
Going a step further, TikTok will also ask users to do a double check before sharing videos with an ‘unverified content’ logo slapped on top. When users attempt to share such videos, they’ll see a prompt telling them about it has been flagged and if they still want to go ahead and share it with others. “Sometimes fact checks are inconclusive or content is not able to be confirmed, especially during unfolding events,” explains the company regarding the type of videos that will be labeled.
TikTok says during its initial test run, viewership of videos with an ‘unverified content’ label on top dropped by 24%, while their like count went down by 7%. The new safety tool will begin rolling out starting today in the US and Canada, and will expand to the global audience in the weeks to come.
TikTok is taking inspiration from Twitter
TikTok is borrowing a page from Twitter’s books here. Back in June last year, Twitter began testing a new feature that would ask users to first read an article before retweeting it, urging them to actually go through its contents before amplifying its reach. A few months later, Twitter expanded these prompts to its global audience in a bid to curb the spread of misleading and inflammatory content.