Many sets of standards are not applied by TikTok to account holders with millions of followers.
According to audio recordings of TikTok internal meetings from the fall of 2021, Forbes confirmed that the short video app has applied a ‘softer’ censorship policy towards other celebrities and VIPs.
Specifically, with influencers with more than 5 million followers, TikTok will tend to be more lenient and protective of their posts.
In TikTok’s internal system, these famous accounts have been called “creator labels”. During a meeting from late September 2021, a member of the Trust & Safety team at TikTok said:
“We don’t want to treat these users like random accounts. I would say there should be a little more leniency for them.”
Another person who attended that meeting, a consultant from Booz Allen Hamilton, corroborated the statement with Forbes. This person also said that he himself heard a TikTok employee say bluntly:
“If both me and the celebrity can post content, and neither of them match, then only celebrity posts will survive.”
TikTok, like most other social platforms, is governed by a set of community guidelines that prohibit dangerous forms such as misinformation about children, police, etc. On the official website , TikTok asserts that the set of rules applies to “everyone and everything on TikTok”.
It’s not new for social media companies to bend the rules to the rich and powerful. Twitter, YouTube and even Spotify have at least once changed the rules with A-listers or world leaders.
However, according to Forbes, the company most famous for this behavior is Meta – TikTok’s main rival.
The parent company of Facebook and Instagram has developed a complex internal system to protect some accounts from content censorship using conventional systems. Called XCheck, the system is used to protect celebrities, journalists and politicians.
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