TikTok has introduced a new notification system for users worldwide that provides more clarity when removing content. The system, which was tested for a few months before its global release, informs a TikTok user when their video was removed and what policy it violated. It also gives the user the option to appeal the decision if they so choose.
When a video is removed for content violations, users will be notified in the app with the date of the post and the specific policy it violated, as well as a link to read the community guidelines.
If the content of the video has been flagged as self-harming or suicidal, TikTok will direct users to expert resources via an additional notification, including nonprofit friends. However, it does not appear to contain numbers for suicide hotlines, but instead instructs users or friends of users to call "local law enforcement agencies".
In comparison, Facebook and Instagram have a more robust system and a larger number of partners who offer support in such cases.
In the past, TikTok users have often complained that their videos disappeared without notice. Some of these stories went viral when Lizzo called TikTok for recording videos of her in a bathing suit, for example.
As more users join TikTok, video distances have increased too. In the first half of 2020, TikTok removed 104.5 million videos for violating policies, up from more than 49 million in the second half of 2019.
The global launch of the new notification system also follows a recent expansion of TikTok's enforcement efforts regarding hate speech and other hateful ideologies.
The company released a statement of these changes for its European Community just yesterday. This update was incorrectly reported as a brand new policy by some news sites, but most of the changes were first announced in the US in August.
Regardless of when, TikTok's stronger policy enforcement may have added even more confusion about removing videos due to the lack of a clear notification system.
TikTok believes the new video removal notification system will help reduce recurring violations, as it did with testing. As a result of the new notifications, visits to the Community Directives have almost tripled and the number of requests for appeals has been reduced by 14%.
"Transparency with our community is key to continuing to gain and maintain trust," TikTok said in an announcement. "We are excited to make this new notification system available to all of our users, and we will continue to work to improve the way we help our community understand our policies while maintaining a safe and supportive platform build up."