By Gina Hernandez, Product Manager, Trust & Safety
People come to TikTok to be creative, find community, and have fun. Being authentic is valued by our community, and we take the responsibility of helping counter inauthentic, misleading, or false content to heart.
We remove misinformation as we identify it and partner with fact checkers at PolitiFact, Lead Stories, and SciVerify to help us assess the accuracy of content. If fact checks confirm content to be false, we'll remove the video from our platform.
Sometimes fact checks are inconclusive or content is not able to be confirmed, especially during unfolding events. In these cases, a video may become ineligible for recommendation into anyone's For You feed to limit the spread of potentially misleading information. Today, we're taking that a step further to inform viewers when we identify a video with unsubstantiated content in an effort to reduce sharing.
Here's how it works: First, a viewer will see a banner on a video if the content has been reviewed but cannot be conclusively validated.
The video's creator will also be notified that their video was flagged as unsubstantiated content.
If a viewer attempts to share the flagged video, they’ll see a prompt reminding them that the video has been flagged as unverified content. This additional step requires a pause for people to consider their next move before they choose to "cancel" or "share anyway."
We love that our community’s creativity encourages people to share TikTok videos with others who might enjoy them – both within our platform and beyond – but we’ve designed this feature to help our users be mindful about what they share. In fact, when we tested this approach we saw viewers decrease the rate at which they shared videos by 24%, while likes on such unsubstantiated content also decreased by 7%.
This feature will be rolling out globally over the coming weeks, starting today in the US and Canada. It was designed and tested with Irrational Labs, a behavioral science lab, and is a continuation of our ongoing work to advance media literacy, including the series of "Be Informed" educational videos we created in partnership with the National Association of Media Literacy Education. These videos explain the difference between fact and opinion, how to analyze graphics, understand sources, and reflect on whether the content should be shared. We believe that media literacy is crucial to enhancing the online experience for everyone and are continuing to invest in product experiences that help promote an authentic and welcoming community.