TikTok released some new steps that it is taken to ensure that it is protecting TikTok users from self-esteem issues and body-shaming, by banning weight loss ads, and tools to make people connecting to professionals to help with related concerns.
According to TikTok:
“As a society, weight stigma and body shaming pose both individual and cultural challenges, and we know that the internet if left unchecked, has the risk of exacerbating such issues. That’s why we’re focused on working to safeguard our community from harmful content and behavior while supporting an inclusive – and body-positive – environment.”
Aligning with this, TikTok updated the ad policies to stop all ads for weight loss supplements and fasting apps, while, also, it’s maximizing the restrictions on ads that they are promoting negative or harmful body image.
Furthermore, TikTok will apply new restrictions on ads which make overstated claims about weight loss products and diet apps, including:
-Products about weight management reach only 18+ users.
-Restrictions are stronger on weight-loss claims.
-More restrictions on irresponsible products claim to promote weight loss weight control and loss.
-Ads that promote products or services about weight management and weight loss can’t promote any negative relationship with food and any negative body images.
These regulations and restrictions may be hard to implement effectively and will demand human review. However, TikTok is also adding 25k, reportedly, new staff in the USA that may be in preparation for this increased the load of work.
And it’s indeed an important policy shift.
A new report from The New York Times recommends that over the third of daily TikTok users in the US from the age of 14 or less, that means that the platform has an extremely impressionable audience and very high reach. Also, the application’s user base skews young, and with a lot of available editing tools and filters, you are really not comparing yourself to another person you saw on TikTok many times.
This can absolutely lead to negative self-image and body shaming, and as TikTok is growing, it is very serious and needs steps to be taken to ensure that it is protecting users as much as possible.
Additionally, TikTok is extending the partnership with the National Eating Disorder Association to include new alerts for the NEDA hotline when users search for anything related to body image or weight management.
“In addition, TikTok will be supporting Weight Stigma Awareness Week (September 28 – October 2) by launching a dedicated page in our app to support NEDA’s #EndWeightHateCampaign. This page will be featured in our Discover tab and will educate our community about what weight stigma is, why it should matter to everyone, and how they can find support or support others who may be struggling.”
Moreover, these are important steps given to the young audience of TikTok, and these weight management supplements ads have been creating a lot of issues with a lot of people reporting these campaigns on the application.
TikTok is still attempting to protect users, yet this is a positive action that may have a great influence.