ByteDance-owned video sharing app TikTok has introduced the founding members of its new ‘Content Advisory Council’, which it describes as “the important gathering of technology and safety experts” who will help shape the platform’s policies.
The move follows various efforts from the platform to earn the trust of policymakers and the broader public over the past few months, after a national security investigation was launched into TikTok in the US last year.
TikTok also launched a heavyweight recruitment drive in Washington, for some influential policy experts to improve its relationship with government.
According to a blog post written by Vanessa Pappas, General Manager, TikTok US, the “Council brings together thought leaders who can help us develop forward-looking policies that not only address the challenges of today, but also plan ahead for the next set of issues that our industry will face”.
The council will feature members from the technology, policy, and health and wellness industries and will be led by Dawn Nunziato as Chair.
Nunziato is a professor at George Washington University Law School and co-director of the Global Internet Freedom Project.
“We will call upon our Council to provide unvarnished views on and advice around TikTok’s policies and practices as we continually work to improve in the challenging area of content moderation.”
Vanessa Pappas, TikTok US
Added Pappas: “The Council members we’ve assembled represent a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives, and spent much of their lives researching, studying and analyzing issues relevant to TikTok and the space we operate in, such as child safety, hate speech, misinformation, and bullying.
“We will call upon our Council to provide unvarnished views on and advice around TikTok’s policies and practices as we continually work to improve in the challenging area of content moderation. That’s why we’re excited to have members who represent legal, regulatory, and academic expertise, as well as the needs and perspectives of our diverse community.
“We look forward to surrounding ourselves with industry leaders in their fields as we continue to strengthen our content moderation policies and platform practices, and we are grateful for their advice and contribution to making TikTok a place where joy and creativity can thrive.”
“A company willing to open its doors to outside experts to help shape upcoming policy shows organizational maturity and humility.”
Dawn Nunziato, George Washington University Law School, said: “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.”
Filling out the initial members of TikTok’s Content Advisory Council, which the platform says “will grow to a group of around a dozen experts”, are:
- Rob Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
- Hany Farid, University of California, Berkeley Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and School of Information.
- Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami Law School.
- Vicki Harrison, Stanford Psychiatry Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.
- Dawn Nunziato, Chair, George Washington University Law School.
- 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
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