For those of you who spend your lives cranking out TikTok content, I have negative news: You'll no longer be able to wax unimpededly political. The next time you toss your hips to a quarter-minute of hip hop, you'll need to watch your mouths.
If you're unfamiliar with the uber-popular app, witness its video gold:
Since clips can last up to three minutes, it's an excellent arena for expressing ideas:
However, the site's amended its Community Guidelines, and a muzzling is among us.
TikTok is owned by China-based tech company ByteDance. As you might've heard, the People's Republic isn't known for its adoration of insolence toward authority.
Apropos of such an absence of amore, the platform's new prohibitions strive to stamp out “Harmful Misinformation.”
“Misinformation is defined as content that is inaccurate or false,” the update explains. “We will remove misinformation that causes significant harm to individuals, our community, or the larger public regardless of intent.”
What constitutes “significant harm”?
Examples are thus:
Large-scale property damage
Serious physical injury
Additionally: “Severe psychological trauma.”
On top of all that annihilation, there's one more way you can no longer destroy the world.
Users aren't anymore allowed to engage in the following:
The undermining of public trust in civic institutions and processes such as governments, elections, and scientific bodies
So if you don't trust the government, you'd best not admit it. Such an act could wreak “harm.”
An example of violation, called out by unlikely TikTok twerker Mike Pence:
As for “scientific bodies,” such would presumably include one Anthony Fauci, as he's declared himself The Science.
In order to get it right, you'll need to sort out an array of assertions:
Misinformation that incites hate or prejudice
Misinformation related to emergencies that induce panic
Medical misinformation that can cause harm to an individual's physical health
Content that misleads community members about elections or other civic processes
Conspiratorial content including content that attacks a specific person or a protected group, includes a violent call to action, or denies a violent or tragic event occurred
Digital Forgeries (Synthetic Media or Manipulated Media) that mislead users by distorting the truth of events and cause significant harm to the subject of the video, other persons, or society
Social media is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
In March of 2020, Twitter outlawed making fun of someone's age.
At the time, it posed a plethora of questions:
How do we protect conversations people have within marginalized groups, including those using reclaimed terminology? …
How can — or should — we factor in considerations as to whether a given protected group has been historically marginalized and/or is currently being targeted into our evaluation of severity of harm?
How do we account for “power dynamics that can come into play across different groups?
Also from the Bluebird's do's and don'ts:
We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.
At one point in America, free expression was considered a value. But that was back when words couldn't break your bones.
Now enlightenment is our X-ray, and wokeness our radiologist.
Diagnosis: We've all been shattered.
But more brittle than us, evidently, is the government. Uncle Sam is a sensitive megalomaniac, so don't dare indicate mistrust.
At least, keep your cynicism far from TikTok.
The five-year-old company — with over one billion account holders, most of them young — is working on a more unified America.
And if you think that makes its users sheep, they're probably absolutely fine with it:
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