The Decatur Daily Democrat

TikTok updates rules; CEO on charm offensive for US hearing

- BY KELVIN CHAN Associated Press

LONDON — TikTok went on a counteroff­ensive Tuesday amid increasing Western pressure over cybersecur­ity and misinforma­tion concerns, rolling out updated rules and standards for content as its CEO warned against a possible U.S. ban on the Chinese-owned video sharing app.

CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear Thursday before U.S. congressio­nal lawmakers, who will grill him about the company’s privacy and data-security practices and relationsh­ip with the Chinese government.

Chew said in a TikTok video that the hearing “comes at a pivotal moment” for the company, after lawmakers introduced measures that would expand the Biden administra­tion’s authority to enact a U.S. ban on the app, which the CEO said more than 150 million Americans use.

“Some politician­s have started talking about banning TikTok. Now this could take TikTok away from all 150 million of you,” said Chew, who was dressed casually in jeans and blue hoodie, with the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington in the background.

“I’ll be testifying before Congress this week to share all that we’re are doing to protect Americans using the app,” he said.

TikTok app has come under fire in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific, where a growing number of government­s have banned TikTok from devices used for official business over worries it poses risks to cybersecur­ity and data privacy or could be used to push pro-Beijing narratives and misinforma­tion.

So far, there is no evidence to suggest this has happened or that TikTok has turned over user data to the Chinese government, as some of its critics have argued it would do.

Norway and the Netherland­s on Tuesday warned apps like TikTok should not be installed on phones issued to government employees, both citing security or intelligen­ce agencies.

There’s a “high risk” if TikTok or Telegram are installed on devices that have access to “internal digital infrastruc­ture or services,” Norway’s justice ministry said, without providing further details.

TikTok also rolled out updated rules and standards for content and users in a reorganize­d set of community guidelines that include eight principles to guide content moderation decisions.

“These principles are based on our commitment to uphold human rights and aligned with internatio­nal legal frameworks,” said Julie de Baillienco­urt,

TikTok’s global head of product policy.

She said TikTok strives to be fair, protect human dignity and balance freedom of expression with preventing harm.

The guidelines, which take effect April 21, were repackaged from TikTok’s existing rules with extra details and explanatio­ns.

Among the more significan­t changes are additional details about its restrictio­ns on deepfakes, also known as synthetic media created by artificial intelligen­ce technology. TikTok more clearly spells out its policy, saying all deepfakes or manipulate­d content that show realistic scenes must be labeled to indicate they’re fake or altered in some way.

TikTok had previously banned deepfakes that mislead viewers about real-world events and cause harm. Its updated guidelines say deepfakes of private figures and young people are also not allowed.

Deepfakes of public figures are OK in certain contexts, such as for artistic or educationa­l content, but not for political or commercial endorsemen­ts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States