By Arjun Narayan Bettadapur, Director, Trust & Safety, TikTok, Asia Pacific

TikTok is a vibrant place for creative and authentic expression. In addition to fun and engaging content, TikTok also serves as a place for learning and education. However, as content and social platforms increasingly encounter the challenges of misinformation, it can be difficult for users to identify truths from falsehoods. Such misinformation or deliberate disinformation can cause real world harm, and is antithetical to building a trust-based community where authentic interactions can thrive. Hence, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to protect and improve our users’ learning experience on TikTok and curb the proliferation of fake news.

We have increased our efforts to identify unverified content circulating on the internet that may appear to the public as 'facts' or 'news'. Additionally, we have put systems in place to allow our users to easily report misinformation in-app, and expanded our in-house team responsible for detecting and preventing misinformation and disinformation. 

To bolster these efforts, we’re pleased to announce that we have kicked off our Asia Pacific Fact-Checking Programme in partnership with industry-leading fact-checkers AFP and Lead Stories. This third-party fact-checking program leverages a team of fact-checkers who review and verify reported content. Once the information is confirmed to be false or misleading, we take proactive steps to remove the content in line with our Community Guidelines and notify the user accordingly.

We’re committed to fighting against dangerous, medical and election misinformation, synthetic media, fake news, and conspiracy theories on our platform with this new Fact-Checking Program. This partnership will see AFP covering markets including Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan and Lead Stories expanding their coverage to Thailand and Korea. It will also examine and provide recommendations around specific functions, including policy, product and process. 

AFP is an international news agency that provides fast, comprehensive, and verified coverage of global events, while Lead Stories is a fact-checking platform that strives to develop common standards for information credibility. Both of these platforms provide coverage in multiple languages, and have experience in working with other globally-recognised social media platforms.

In improving our overall trust and safety policies and processes, we are continuing our work to help make the platform an inclusive and safe space for all. Earlier this month, we launched our Asia Pacific Safety Advisory Council, which will help to provide advice on content moderation policies and trust and safety issues specific to Asia Pacific. Building on our commitment to transparency, we also released our global Transparency Report for the first six months of 2020, which details how we are working to create a safe and secure platform for our growing and diverse community.

Misinformation and disinformation are challenges the industry continues to face and we believe our Asia Pacific Fact-Checking Program will help ensure that our users can continue creating and learning on TikTok, safely and confidently.