TikTok is adding banners and tags to videos which will direct people to trusted information about Covid-19 vaccines, as part of new efforts by the platform to combat anti-vaccination misinformation.
The video-sharing platform has announced that when users search the app for vaccine information, they will now be shown a banner guiding them to official information on the subject.
This is joined by a new vaccine tag, which will be added to all videos which include words or hashtags related to the Covid-19 vaccine, and all videos with this tag will also be given a banner directing users to authoritative sources of information on the subject.
The social media giant also announced a “strengthening” of its community guidelines on several issues, including using feedback from mental health experts to improve the app’s policies on self-harm and suicide content.
The site’s guidelines on bullying and harassment have also been made more specific in identifying types of behaviour that are not acceptable on the site, including doxxing and cyberstalking.
Kevin Morgan, head of product and process for Europe at TikTok, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, TikTok has provided access to public health information from experts in our app and relief for frontline workers and families.
“As Covid-19 vaccines are developed and approved, we’re furthering our efforts to support the wellbeing of our community by making authoritative information about vaccines readily available. At the same time, we continue to remove misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccinations.
“Keeping our community safe is a commitment with no finish line. We recognise the responsibility we have to our community to be nimble in our detection and response when new kinds of content and behaviours emerge.
Today we announced refreshed Community Guidelines with strengthened policies and new features that support the well-being of our community: https://t.co/Fjtnnq1Rh1 pic.twitter.com/WtlWwW5PNy
— TikTok_Comms (@tiktok_comms) December 15, 2020
“To that end, we’ll keep advancing our policies, developing features that help people manage their experience, and empowering our community to help us foster a trustworthy environment. Ultimately, we hope these updates enable people to have a meaningful and positive TikTok experience.”
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TikTok also said it would shortly begin introducing new resources designed to support user wellbeing, including those struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
The new resources have been created with the help of behavioural psychologists and suicide prevention experts and would be shown to users who search for terms linked to self-harm.
The announcements come as the Government publishes its proposals for online harms regulation, including a greater emphasis on the largest social networks – including TikTok – to do more to protect their users from both illegal content and that which could be deemed “legal but harmful”.