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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

TikTok has removed thousands of accounts, videos and comments linked to hate speech this year, the company said Thursday.

Why it matters: As the platform grows bigger and faces more scrutiny, TikTok wants to be proactive in how it approaches sensitive issues, like hate speech, especially in the lead up to the 2020 election.

  • "In what can feel like an increasingly divisive world, one of the areas we're especially intent on improving is our policies and actions towards hateful content and behavior," Eric Han, head of safety at TikTok US, said in a blog post.
  • "Our goal is to eliminate hate on TikTok."

By the numbers: Since the beginning of 2020, TikTok says it has removed more than 380,000 videos in the US for violating its hate speech policy.

  • It also banned more than 1,300 accounts for hateful content or behavior, and removed over 64,000 hateful comments.

TikTok's hate speech philosophy centers around five principles, the company says:

  1. Continually evolving the policy to address new threats.
  2. Countering hate speech, behavior and groups through bans and removals. The company says it has a zero tolerance stance on organized hate groups and those associated with them, "like accounts that spread or are linked to white supremacy or nationalism, male supremacy, anti-Semitism, and other hate-based ideologies."
  3. Increasing cultural awareness in its content moderation practices.
  4. Improving transparency within its community around removals .
  5. Investing in its teams and partnerships to better detect and triage hate speech.

Be smart: TikTok, like Snapchat, says it may also take off-platform behavior into consideration as it determines its policies.

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Facebook removed 265,000 pieces of content on voter interference

Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Facebook says it removed more than 265,000 pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. for violating its content policies on voter interference leading up to the election.

Why it matters: The company was much more proactive this election cycle than last in taking down and labeling content attempting to disrupt the election.

25 mins ago - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Dave Lawler, author of World
26 mins ago - World

Schiff: "Definitive" Khashoggi report sends clear message to Saudis

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.

What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”