TikTok is trying to make it easier for creators and other users to navigate its rules and understand what is happening with their accounts. The company is implementing updated “account control system” – a series of changes that includes a new strike system, as well as features that allow authors to check whether their content has been blocked in the application’s recommendations.
The changes come amid TikTok’s push to increase transparency in its work with content moderation and algorithmic recommendations, which have been the subject of scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators and other critics.
The company said in a blog post that the new blocking system is designed to combat “offenders” who can have a significant impact on the platform.
“Under the new system, if someone posts content that violates one of our Community Guidelines, the account will accrue a strike as the content is removed,” the company explains. “If an account meets the threshold of strikes within either a product feature (i.e. Comments, LIVE) or policy (i.e. Bullying and Harassment), it will be permanently banned.”
The company added that users can also be blocked after a single strike if the violation is considered “serious.”
This change makes TikTok’s policy more similar to that of other similar services. YouTube and Meta also use a system of strikes against accounts that violate their rules, although each platform has its own criteria for determining strikes and related penalties.
TikTok also says it will provide creators with new tools to see if their account has been subject to strikes in the previous 90 days. This feature will be available in the new Account Status section of the Safety Center. The company is also adding a Reports section where users can track any content or accounts they’ve reported.
TikTok is also starting to test two new features related to recommendations. The first is a feature that will notify creators that one of their videos has been blocked from the For You page in the app. The feature, which the company says will be tested in select markets over the coming weeks, will allow authors to find out why this happened and give them the chance to file an appeal.
The second feature will allow users to reset the recommendations that appear on the For You page. According to a TikTok spokesperson, test participants will see a “refresh” option in their For You feed, which will essentially reload the app’s main feed. After the feed refreshes, videos will only appear from new interactions and activities, not from those the user has previously interacted with.
But TikTok doesn’t just rely on product changes. The company is also physically demonstrating its stated commitment to transparency with tours of its recently opened Transparency and Accountability Center, a space in its Los Angeles office where attendees can see how the company works with content recommendations and moderation.