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TikTok updates policy to ban misogyny and misgendering on the social platform

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TikTok has long prohibited hate-speech and violence on its social video platform, but a recent update is getting more specific about what can and can’t be posted on videos.

The China-based tech firm ByteDance, which created and owns TikTok, updated its community guidelines with new ban-worthy offenses on Tuesday. The change targets content that’s aimed at offending LGBTQ users broadly as well as trans users specifically.

Now, content containing anti-LGBTQ commentary including deadnaming (the practice of using a trans person’s birth/former name), misgendering, and support for conversion therapy is banned. Posts that include misogyny, which is hate or prejudice against women, are also banned. In a blog post, TikTok characterized the changes as “adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform.”

TikTok said these types of posts, and others, won’t surface on users’ For You pages, which recommends content based on past views. Ideally, any offending posts will be removed swiftly before circulating. A UK study last year found anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and misogynistic posts and other forms of hate are widely circulating on the platform.

Enforcing these new bans is where it really matters, as TikTok creators have consistently called out. ByteDance has come under scrutiny before as a Chinese company operating under a less-than-tolerant government.

One account is flipping common misogynistic commentary on its head. Lilly Brown and co-host @kimbersprings present the “Fresh New Tits” mock-podcast on TikTok where the two women playfully and cleverly insult men’s hair, value, genitalia, and ask, “Are men too emotional?” It’s a more subtle take on what is typically seen in podcasts and streamed videos, including blatant misogyny.

Another account, @carefulthefloorismarlava, questions if TikTok will actually do anything about rampant transphobia on its platform even after updating its guidelines.

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