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Thursday, Jul 25, 2024

TikTok to remove climate change denial videos and direct users to 'authoritative information'

TikTok to remove climate change denial videos and direct users to 'authoritative information'

TikTok said the changes, which are being rolled out ahead of Earth Day, would help "empower accurate climate discussions" and "reduce harmful misinformation".
TikTok is to start removing videos that deny the existence of climate change.

The popular short-form video app said it was updating its misinformation policy to target any content which "undermines well-established scientific consensus" about global warming.

Any clips which contain misinformation about the climate crisis will be removed.

The company is also introducing new search features to direct anyone who looks up climate content towards "authoritative information", sourced in partnership with the UN.

This is similar to the approach taken on YouTube, which promotes links to the UN's web pages on climate change when people search for relevant videos.

TikTok said the changes would help "empower accurate climate discussions" and "reduce harmful misinformation".

The changes will be rolled out ahead of Earth Day on Saturday, an annual global event to mark the importance of dedicating time, resources, and energy to solving the climate crisis.

Under pressure from governments over privacy and safety concerns due to its Chinese ownership, TikTok has toughened its stance on harmful content over the past year.

A Sky News investigation into the prevalence of controversial influencer Andrew Tate on social media platforms found TikTok appeared to have done some work to protect children from being served such videos.

TikTok also said it was removing eating disorder content after research found views of such videos had grown.

Despite repeated attempts to improve its reputation among sceptics, the company is still facing the prospect of an outright ban in the US, where politicians argue it is used to push misinformation and pro-China propaganda.

And in the UK, the company was recently fined almost £13m for misusing children's data.

The app has also been banned from the work phones of government staff, following in the footsteps of the US, EU, Canada, and others.
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