Coronavirus: TikTok Unveils New In-App Reporting Feature to Curb Spread of Misinformation Amid Outbreak


TikTok has been making continued efforts in the fight against coronavirus. It has donated medical equipment as well as money to help medical workers and curb the spread of the virus. Now, the video-sharing social networking service has introduced an enhanced in-app reporting feature to prevent the spread of misinformation in these trying times. TikTok users can now report content that has “intentionally deceptive information” within the app. Further, it is asking for proposals for a misinformation research grant.

As posted on the TikTok website, the enhanced in-app reporting feature allows users to report any content that they believe to have intentionally deceptive information by selecting the new ‘Misleading Information’ category within the app. While this goes for any type of content, TikTok has given a sub-category within the feature named “COVID-19 information” where any information related to COVID-19 can be reported.

TikTok users, if they come across a video that they believe is spreading misinformation, can tap on the Share button, Report > Misleading information > COVID-19 misinformation, and give an optional description for their report. Once done, they can tap on the Submit button.

TikTok states that when a post is reported for COVID-19 misinformation, it goes to a priority moderation queue that is looked after by an internal taskforce and then forwarded to third-party fact-checkers. This internal taskforce has been specifically set up to fight the spread of misinformation about coronavirus. “We have partnered with Vishvas News, the fact-checking arm of the Jagran group, which is IFCN certified,” the post adds.

This feature will reach all users in a phased manner and Gadgets 360 was able to verify it on an iPhone having the latest version of the app.

Additionally, TikTok has also set up a misinformation research grant of $50,000 (roughly Rs. 37.8 lakh) where it is “inviting credible partners to submit proposals” so that the misinformation ecosystem on social media can be better understood, in order to more efficiently stop it from spreading.

To recall, in the fight against coronavirus, TikTok donated $10 million (roughly Rs. 75 crores) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. It also added Donation Stickers to help creators raise funds for COVID-19 relief.

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