Last year, TikTok partnered with corporate law firm K&L Gates to advise the platform on its moderation policies.

Now, TikTok announced it is introducing a new initiative, known as the TikTok Content Advisory Council. It has revealed the tech and safety experts who will be the company’s first committee members and will help the platform develop content policies to address the challenges the industry faces. “We’re motivated by a deep sense of responsibility to this community,” said Vanessa Pappas, general manager, TikTok US.

TikTok’s Council will be chaired by Dawn Nunziato, a professor at George Washington University Law School and co-director of the Global Internet Freedom Project.

A company willing to open its doors to outside experts to help shape upcoming policy shows organizational maturity and humility. I am working with TikTok because they’ve shown that they take content moderation seriously, are open to feedback, and understand the importance of this area both for their community and for the future of healthy public discourse,” Nunziato said on joining the council.

TikTok hopes to grow the council to about a dozen members. Other council members include:

  • Rob Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, brings academic, private sector, and government experience as well as knowledge of technology policy that can advise our approach to innovation
  • Hany Farid, University of California, Berkeley Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and  School of Information, is a renowned expert on digital image and video forensics, computer vision, deep fakes, and robust hashing
  • Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami Law School, focuses on the intersection of law and technology and will provide valuable insight into industry challenges including discrimination, safety, and online identity
  • Vicki Harrison, Stanford Psychiatry Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is a social worker at the intersection of social media and mental health who understands child safety issues and holistic youth needs
  • David Ryan Polgar, All Tech Is Human, is a leading voice in tech ethics, digital citizenship, and navigating the complex challenge of aligning societal interests with technological priorities
  • Dan Schnur, USC Annenberg Center on Communication and UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, brings valuable experience and insight on political communications and voter information

In praise of the initial group of experts, former Rep. Jeff Denham stated: “We firmly believe that this Council is more than capable of providing candid and productive advice as TikTok continues to strengthen its content moderation policies.”

The new Council will meet alongside our US leaders to discuss areas of importance to the company and users. The first Content Advisory Council meeting will be at the end of this month where they’ll be focusing on critical topics around platform integrity, including policies against misinformation and election interference.

“All of our actions, including the creation of this Council, help advance our focus on creating an entertaining, genuine experience for our community by staying true to why users uniquely love the TikTok platform. As our company grows, we are focused on reflection and learning as a part of company culture and committed to transparently sharing our progress with our users and stakeholders. Our hope is that through thought-provoking conversations and candid feedback, we will find productive ways to support platform integrity, counter potential misuse, and protect the interests of all those who use our platform,” added Pappas.

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