TikTok banned a slew of hate speech on its platform, just days after the company announced a crackdown on the QAnon conspiratorial movement.
Explicitly hateful ideologies, such as neo-Nazism and white supremacy, are already banned on TikTok. From now on, moderation will be extended to cover “neighboring ideologies”, such as white nationalism and the theory of white genocide.
TikTok also aims “to spread coded language and symbols that can normalize hate speech and behavior.”
Those codes made the news this week when Sky History ended a reality show, The Chop, after viewers worried that a competitor’s tattoos could have white supremacist implications. The number 88 is often used as a code for “HH”, or Heil Hitler, for example, while the number 14 refers to a 14-word white supremacist slogan.
The video-sharing platform broke the news with a sideways slide on Facebook, which this month reversed a long-standing position allowing Holocaust denial on its social media. “We are proud to have already taken steps to keep our community safe, such as banning content that denies the Holocaust and other violent tragedies,” TikTok said.
“We know there is always more that we can do, which is why we are taking additional steps to eliminate disinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim and other communities,” the company continued.
“This includes disinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are being used as proxies to spread anti-Semitism. We also remove content that is offensive to the LGBTQ + community by removing hateful ideas, including content that promotes conversion therapy and the idea that no one is born LGBTQ +. “
Activists for Sleeping Giants, an anti-hate campaign, welcomed the policy change, but said its effectiveness remained to be seen. “The real test, as always, will be law enforcement,” they tweeted. “Compare that to Facebook and YouTube, which only took action like this when pushed by advertisers or when it was politically appropriate. “
TikTok’s record of enforcing these bans is sketchy. The company’s recent crackdown on QAnon, which involved banning multiple hashtags from the platform, is a recent example: the ban on the movement actually dates back to July, but a report this month revealed the existence of several beacons that had slipped under the radar. .
Those tags, which included misspellings of popular terms related to QAnon, were removed in the latest wave of bans.