By Caroline Greer, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, Brussels
As we grow, Europe continues to be of huge importance to our future. In just four years, we've invested at scale in the region, and today we have thousands of employees committed to keeping TikTok a safe, inclusive and authentic home for our thriving European community of over 100 million people.
Over the last few years, we've strived to build trust through greater transparency - whether it's quarterly reports about enforcing our Community Guidelines, signing up to voluntary Codes on disinformation and hate speech, and developing a platform research API. Most recently, we're proud to have played our part in the collaborative, co-regulatory process to draft the strengthened EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, and to be sharing our first baseline report under this new Code, building on our work as a signatory to the previous code.
Since the new Code was published in June 2022, we've worked intensively with the Code's Permanent Taskforce and sub-groups to provide as much detail as possible about our approach and enforcement. This is part of our ongoing efforts to implement the requirements of the Digital Services Act, under which the Code will find a new legislative home. It also demonstrates our unwavering commitment to embrace and meet our obligations as a responsible and trusted platform.
Our first baseline report includes more than 2,500 data points across 30 EU/EEA countries covering the final three months of 2022. Here are a few highlights:
- Fewer than 1 in 10,000 views occurred on content identified and removed for violating our policies on harmful misinformation.
- As we do not allow political actors to place advertising on TikTok, we have removed 191 adverts that were found to breach this policy. In addition, we take a multi-pronged approach to enforcing our robust advertising policies, which specifically prohibit misleading, inauthentic and deceptive behaviour and accounts.
- As well as taking steps to protect our community from harmful misinformation, we've connected people to authoritative sources of information on issues such as Covid-19, the Holocaust, and the war in Ukraine. For example, since July 2020 our Covid-19 information hub was viewed more than 5 billion times globally, and at the start of the war in Ukraine, we shared digital literacy tips developed in partnership with the National Association for Media Literacy Education and MediaWise to help our community evaluate and make decisions about the content they view online.
While we're proud to be providing this level of granular detail for the first time, we recognise that there is more work to be done. In the coming months, we're investing in a number of initiatives, including:
- Building on our efforts to empower our community through new safety features and in-app resources, such as expanding our state-controlled media labels (now including all EU27 countries).
- Continuing to invest in our work to address the heightened risk and impact of misleading information as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine, by taking action on content or behaviour that threatens the safety of our platform, and dedicating resources to protecting our community.
- Expanding our fact-checking programme across EU/EEA countries to improve language coverage and scale up the volume of claims we fact check.
- Strengthening our approach to disinformation in our advertising policies.
Our commitment to transparency
We believe that the Code of Practice on Disinformation is a significant step forward for the industry. As a newer platform, we also believe that we are in a unique position to innovate in the search for solutions to these long-standing industry challenges. We'll continue to invest extensively as we work together with others to combat disinformation and promote authentic online experiences for our communities.