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TikTok updates its community guidelines amid the fear of ban in the US


The Chinese video-sharing app TikTok has announced an update to its community guidelines that aim to make the platform safer. The update is coming in days when TikTok is in hot water by US lawmakers, and it might be banned in the country due to national security concerns.

Revamping community guidelines is a part of the company’s efforts to prevent a potential ban in the United States. TikTok has now made it more clear how creators and content will be treated. The app also made specific guidelines for AI-generated content and synthetic media.

The update will take effect on April 21, and the app describes it as the “most comprehensive update to our Community Guidelines to date.”

TikTok community guidelines put a restriction on AI-generated media

According to the new policies, any synthetic or manipulated media showing realistic scenes must be clearly disclosed. Users can use stickers and captions, such as “synthetic,” “fake,” “not real,” or “altered,” to distinguish synthetic content.

Additionally, TikTok bans the use of synthetic media that contains the likeness of any real private figure. TikTok defines synthetic media as “highly realistic” content created or modified by AI. A public figure is someone who is over 18 years old and holds a significant public role, like celebrities and government officials, etc.

“We do not allow synthetic media of public figures if the content is used for endorsements or violates any other policy. This includes prohibitions on hate speech, sexual exploitation, and serious forms of harassment.” TikTok added.

TikTok continues that using synthetic media of public figures is only allowed in certain contexts like educational content. Any use for political or commercial purposes is forbidden.

Besides regulating AI-generated content and synthetic media, TikTok also adds more transparency to existing policies. Each rule now has a brief section that clarifies what the app allows and doesn’t allow. For example, TikTok bans any misinformation on civic and electoral processes like voting, eligibility requirements of candidates, counting the ballots, etc.

TikTok hopes to prevent a potential ban in the United States by greater adherence to the country’s laws and becoming more transparent about its operations. The app CEO will appear before congress on March 23 to address national security concerns and relationships with the Chinese government.

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