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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.

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

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Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain talks turkey

Butterball estimates that it sells one out of every three Thanksgiving turkeys, but knows that this year's celebrations will be different than years past.

Axios Re:Cap talks with the turkey giant's CEO Jay Jandrain about what people are buying, what they're asking the "Turkey Talkline" and what the pandemic has meant for his business.