New center to allow experts to examine and verify TikTok's practices

By Vanessa Pappas, General Manager, TikTok US

Over the past few months, we have shared a series of announcements in this space related to our ongoing efforts to deepen our engagement with, and earn the trust of, our community as well as policymakers and the broader public. This included the release of our updated Community Guidelines and the publishing of our first ever Transparency Report. We've also hired a global General Counsel, a Chief Information Security Officer, and expanded our Trust & Safety hubs in the US, Ireland, and Singapore led by experienced industry veterans.

Today, we are pleased to announce another important step forward: our plan to open a TikTok Transparency Center. This new facility in our LA office will provide outside experts an opportunity to directly view how our teams at TikTok go about the day-to-day challenging, but critically important, work of moderating content on the platform.

Through this direct observation of our Trust & Safety practices, experts will get a chance to evaluate our moderation systems, processes and policies in a holistic manner. That includes, but is not limited to, seeing:

  • how our trained content moderators apply those Guidelines to review the technology-based actions that are escalated to them, and to identify additional potential violations that the technology may miss; 
  • how users and creators are able to bring concerns to our attention and how those are handled;
  • ultimately, how the content that is allowed on the platform aligns with our Guidelines.

We expect the Transparency Center to operate as a forum where observers will be able to provide meaningful feedback on our practices. Our landscape and industry is rapidly evolving, and we are aware that our systems, policies and practices are not flawless, which is why we are committed to constant improvement.

The Transparency Center will open in early May with an initial focus on TikTok's content moderation. Later, we will expand the Center to include insight into our source code, and our efforts around data privacy and security. This second phase of the initiative will be spearheaded by our newly appointed Chief Information Security Officer, Roland Cloutier, who starts with the company next month.

We look forward to hosting experts from around the world and continuing to find innovative ways to improve our content moderation and data security systems.

Update (May 27):  

Due to physical constraints as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the opening of our Transparency Center in Los Angeles has been delayed. We look forward to being able to welcome guests in the near future.

Update (July 22):

We're committed to being transparent about our practices, which includes allowing invited experts to view TikTok's content policies and algorithm that are housed in our Transparency Center. While the full opening of the physical Transparency Center is still delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we've now made adjustments so that we can offer virtual tours for parts of the experience. If you’re a policy, content safety, or security expert looking for more information, please email transparency [at] tiktok [dot] com.