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TikTok’s New Community Guidelines Ban Undermining Trust In Government And Scientific Institutions

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TikTok, the widely popular video-sharing social media platform with disturbing links to Beijing-based corporation ByteDance, has announced it will soon enforce new “Community Guidelines” which will label any mistrust of governments, elections, or scientific bodies as “misinformation.”

TikTok announced that the new guidelines will be updated on March 7, 2022, to “help keep TikTok welcoming and entertaining for creators and viewers alike.”

Under the guidelines’ “Integrity and authenticity” section, TikTok announced, “We believe that trust forms the foundation of our community. We do not allow activities that may undermine the integrity of our platform or the authenticity of our users. We remove content or accounts that involve spam or fake engagement, impersonation, or misleading information that causes significant harm.”

Under a “Harmful misinformation,” TikTok’s guidelines continue.

Misinformation is defined as content that is inaccurate or false. We will remove misinformation that causes significant harm to individuals, our community, or the larger public regardless of intent. Significant harm includes serious physical injury, illness, or death; severe psychological trauma; large-scale property damage, and the undermining of public trust in civic institutions and processes such as governments, elections, and scientific bodies. This does not include simply inaccurate information, myths, or commercial or reputational harm.

TikTok’s current guidelines, in place until March 7, make no mention of governments or scientific institutions. However, it does instruct users not to post “Content that misleads community members about elections or other civic processes.”

This is not the first controversial news regarding TikTok’s usage guidance. Last year, TikTok released their new privacy policy informing users that the app may collect new forms of biometric data, such as “faceprints and voiceprints,” but the company was reportedly “unable to explain what types of data these terms referred to, or why the app might need to access this information in the first place.”

A change to TikTok’s U.S. privacy policy on Wednesday introduced a new section that says the social video app ‘may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information’ from its users’ content,” reported TechCrunch at the time. “This includes things like ‘faceprints and voiceprints,’ the policy explained.”

TechCrunch then explained that after being reached for comment on the forms of data that may be collected, “TikTok could not confirm what product developments necessitated the addition of biometric data to its list of disclosures about the information it automatically collects from users, but said it would ask for consent in the case such data collection practices began.”

As TechCrunch noted, issues such as consent and methods of storage become notably important because “only a handful of U.S. states have biometric privacy laws, including Illinois, Washington, California, Texas and New York.”

“If TikTok only requested consent, ‘where required by law,’ it could mean users in other states would not have to be informed about the data collection,” added TechCrunch.

Ian Haworth is a writer for The Daily Wire and contributor to Morning Wire. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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