Amidst global concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want to share some of the steps we’re taking to help the TikTok community stay safe and informed. TikTok is committed to providing our community with access to public health information and resources. At the same time, we want to do our part to support families, frontline workers, and others deeply impacted by the pandemic.
Supporting communities in need
We’re all operating in uncertain times, and it’s more important now than ever to come together to help those in need.
TikTok Community Relief Fund: To provide critical relief to communities impacted by the health and economic damage caused by this crisis, we’ve allotted $40 million to local organizations that serve groups representative of TikTok’s diverse communities, including musicians, artists, nurses, educators, and families that have come together on the platform. Some of the many organizations we’ve donated to include MusiCares to provide assistance to music professionals whose livelihoods have been severely impacted; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support immunization programs in Africa; the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundational to aid service workers as their industry faces uncertainty; the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to help fund distance learning, meals, and mental health support to over 150 PTAs across the US; and After-School All-Stars (ASAS) to help provide food for families impacted by the loss of access to free or reduced-cost school meals in 60 US cities.
TikTok Creative Learning Fund: TikTok has committed $50 million in grants to educators, professional experts, and nonprofits whose real-world skills and expertise can help spread educational information and useful course material in an accessible, distance learning format.
Helping SMBs restart and rebuild: To help SMBs weather this crisis, we’re providing $100 million in ad credits to help companies get back on their feet.
Partnering for greater impact
We’re at our strongest when we work together, which is why we’ve partnered with a number of local and global organizations who are using TikTok to share trusted information with the community. Beyond the library of information available to the community in our COVID-19 hub, the WHO is serving as a valuable resource to our community by using their TikTok account to create videos highlighting key tips and facts: Find them @who A sampling of other organizations using their accounts to provide tips and promote safe and healthy behavior include:
… and many more. Local health authorities interested in sharing trusted information can contact us here.
Through our partnership with Team Halo, scientists from all over the world continue to post video updates on TikTok to show the world the progress being made on the vaccine. This team of public health experts answer all kinds of questions from our community, from what steps go into developing a vaccine to how they test them for safety – helping people stay in the know. Additionally, TikTok is donating prominent in-feed ad space to trusted organizations and local health authorities to help our community stay safe, informed, and connected. To date, TikTok has donated nearly $5 million in ad credits to trusted organizations and local health authorities in the US.
Resources for our community
TikTok works with public health experts to make authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines available directly in our app. In our COVID-19 information hub, our community can find answers to common questions about the virus and vaccines from the World Heath Organization (WHO) and the CDC as well as tips on staying safe.
While this resource isn’t the reason people come to TikTok, we want to make sure it’s readily available among the creative content they’re enjoying. The informational hub can be accessed from the Discover page, search, and banners on videos related to COVID-19 and vaccines. In the second half of 2020, this hub was viewed over 2 billion times globally. We believe that one of the best ways to counter misinformation is through engaging, informative content, and we continue to partner with public health experts to create content that resonates with our community –– here are some examples:
TikTok supported the Safe Hands Challenge, a campaign launched by the WHO to promote hand washing. The hashtag has 5.4 billion views with participants like Jimmy Fallon, Gloria Gaynor, and Mariah Carey.
We launched #HappyAtHome, a series of fun and educational live programs with a goal of sharing in a bit of levity, providing our community some comfort, and embracing the responsibility we all have to do the right thing by staying inside and stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Procter & Gamble partnered with TikTok and public health officials to launch the #DistanceDance challenge, which encourages people to stay at home and practice physical distancing to help slow the spread of coronavirus and encourage their friends to do the same – in a fun and creative way.
We also hosted a series of live streams led by the World Health Organization where experts from WHO shared information on protective measures and took live questions from our community.
TikTok has a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy – and the need for joy and positivity has rarely felt more needed than during this time. This is a difficult time for the world as a whole, but it’s also possible for our shared sense of concern to be a commonality that brings us closer. We appreciate that those in our community are being kind to themselves and to each other.
Combatting medical misinformation
TikTok’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s false or misleading, including misinformation related to COVID-19, vaccines, and anti-vaccine disinformation more broadly. We also do not allow paid advertising that advocates against vaccinations, though PSAs or calls to action related to COVID-19 vaccines are accepted on a case-by-case basis if they’re in the interest of public health and safety. TikTok works with experts across the industry, civil society, public health, our Content Advisory Council to develop our policies and enforcement strategies and stay ahead of evolving content. TikTok takes a proactive, holistic approach to countering misinformation.
We have specially trained teams working to identify and remove false or misleading content as well as accounts that spread misinformation. Our community members can also report misinformation to us from our app.
Our fact-checking partners help us assess the accuracy of content and include Politifact, Lead Stories, Science Feedback, and the AFP. If fact-checking is inconclusive, we will limit the distribution of content into anyone’s For You feed to reduce the potential for misinformation to spread.
We work with industry-leading threat detection platforms to identify networks and suspicious activity.
We take multiple approaches to make anti-vaccine and COVID-19 misinformation harder to find. In addition to removing content, we redirect searches associated with vaccine or COVID-19 disinformation to our Community Guidelines and do not autocomplete anti-vaccine hashtags in search.
For people on TikTok who choose to explore hashtags related to coronavirus, we surface an in-app notice that provides direct access to WHO’s website and local public health agencies while also reminding them to report content that violates our Community Guidelines.
Protecting our global team
As a global company, we prioritize the safety of our employees and the world around us. With this in mind, we’ve introduced a work from home policy for our global teams and suspended cross-border business trips. We continue to evaluate the current environment, and in conjunction with guidance from trusted health authorities, we will adjust our measures as needed.