Supporting Our Community Through COVID-19
Amidst global concerns around coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to share some of the steps we're taking to help the TikTok community stay safe and informed. As a global platform, we're focused on supporting our users by providing access to accurate information, in partnership with trusted local health officials, to serve the health and wellbeing of our community.
Resources for our community
We know our users are concerned as views and engagement on trusted content around coronavirus continue to rise, and we're responding to this in a measured way by providing educational resources.
We're hosting an informational page in our app that provides credible information from the World Health Organization that contains answers to common questions, offers tips on staying safe, and dispels some of the myths around COVID-19.
While this resource isn't the reason users come to TikTok, we want to make sure it's readily available among the creative content they're enjoying. The informational page can be accessed from the Discover tab and when users search for coronavirus-related topics, where they'll also find videos from verified accounts that are providing trusted information from credible sources. We're also surfacing a link to this informational page on videos that may relate to coronavirus, reminding users to consult credible sources for COVID-19 facts.
These are all steps to help make sure our community is receiving the information they need to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
To answer questions from our community, we are also hosting a series of live streams led by the World Health Organization, that feature experts from WHO sharing information on protective measures and taking live questions from our users. Connecting users to accurate health information is critical at this time, and we are dedicated to providing more such resources in our app.
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 users.
Beyond the library of information available to users on our in-app landing page, 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 trusted organizations that are using their accounts to provide tips to promote safe and healthy behavior include:
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Find them @ifrc
- American Red Cross: Find them @americanredcross
- Austrian Red Cross: Find them @austrian_red_cross
- British Red Cross: Find them @britishredcross
- Canadian Red Cross: Find them @redcrosscanada
- Italian Red Cross: Find them @crocerossa
- Netherlands Red Cross: Find them @rodekruis
- Ministry of Health, Vietnam: Find them @boytevietnam
- Ministry of Public Health, Thailand: Find them @thaimoph
- UNICEF: Find them @unicef
- The World Economic Forum: Find them @worldeconomicforum
- ... and many more. Local health authorities interested in sharing trusted information can contact us here.
Additionally, TikTok is donating prominent in-feed ad space to trusted organizations and local health authorities. We are committed to providing credible information to help educate about risks and steps our community can take to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Aside from these prevention-oriented notices from trusted organizations and health authorities, our ads policy does not allow ads that reference coronavirus, including when promoting products or services, to create a sense of fear, or to cause widespread offense.
We're also joining other technology companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, in the COVID-19 Global Hackathon, a united industry effort that invites developers to build technological innovations that are timely, helpful, and relevant to the key needs identified by the WHO in their efforts to address the virus.
Promoting healthy conversation
For TikTok users who choose to explore hashtags related to coronavirus, we surface an in-app notice that provides easy links to WHO's website and local health resources, while also reminding users to report content that violates our Community Guidelines.
To be clear, our guidelines clearly prohibit misinformation intended to deceive or mislead the public. While we encourage our users to have respectful conversations about the subjects that matter to them, we remove misinformation that could cause harm to an individual's health or wider public safety.
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.
Coming together as a global community
During these difficult times, we want to support our users around the world in ways that are positive and beneficial. For example, we've launched #HappyAtHome, a series of fun and educational live programs with a goal of sharing in a bit of levity, providing users some comfort, and embracing the responsibility we all have to do the right thing by staying inside and stopping the spread. Further, we've partnered with WHO to promote a global #SafeHands challenge to encourage hygienic habits without adding to alarm. Since the WHO kicked off the challenge, we’ve been overwhelmed by the dedication our community has demonstrated to preventing the spread of the virus by sharing the songs and sounds they use to encourage thorough hand-washing.
Just as we're joining health experts to provide advice on how to navigate this period, we're also inspired to see the TikTok community continue to use their creativity to motivate one another. The popularity of organic trends like #ghencovychallenge – a catchy song and dance developed by TikTok Vietnam that helps make the concept of washing your hands fun – was just one of many heartwarming examples our users have picked up. That spirit has spread through trends like #quarantine, where users are sharing their experiences of working or schooling from home, and the #iwillsurvivechallenge, kicked off by disco icon Gloria Gaynor, who shows just how easy it can be to adopt healthy practices.
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 our users are being kind to themselves and to each other. We see this as an opportunity to come together as a community, understand how we are all still connected, and recognize the importance of helping to support, encourage, and even uplift one another – and we're inspired to see that our global users feel the same.
Supporting communities in need
We are all operating in uncertain times, and it’s more important now than ever before for both our local and global communities to come together to help those in need.
As schools across the country close because of COVID-19, one of the greatest challenges facing many parents is how to feed their children. Millions of students, teachers and families depend on school resources for more than learning. That's why TikTok donated $3M through a partnership with After-School All-Stars (ASAS) to help provide food for families impacted by the loss of access to free or reduced-cost school meals. Our donation will aid in the distribution of food credits and gift cards for local grocery partners, providing critical support for families in 60 cities across the US. In addition, TikTok will match up to $1M in employee donations to ASAS to further the organization's ability to provide food for those in need.
To support the public health professionals who are leading the efforts to help stem the pandemic, we've also donated $10M to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The fund helps the WHO carry out vitally important work, including sending essential supplies to front line health care workers, ensuring communities have access to the latest science-based information, and accelerating efforts to discover life-saving treatments or vaccines. Alongside many great companies and individuals, we're passionate about doing our small part to contribute to this important cause and the critical work the fund enables.
We will continue to seek out ways to aid those in need across the country and around the world.