< Journal
16th September 2021

Brand Safety on TikTok

Brand Safety on TikTok

How is social’s latest trendsetter ensuring maximum safety for its advertisers?

TikTok’s exponential growth has seen it become the latest hotspot for viral social media content, and with that, has given marketers a whole new platform to promote their products and services; but in line with its seemingly overnight success, there are still concerns over how safe – and indeed, how effective – TikTok is as an advertising platform.

With access to more than 150 countries and fast-approaching 2 billion downloads worldwide, there is little argument that TikTok has immense potential as an advertising platform, but how is social media’s latest trendsetter ensuring maximum safety for its advertisers?

Let’s take a look…

Community guidelines
At the core of TikTok’s attempts to provide its brands and users alike with a safe platform are its regularly updated community guidelines, which spell out the do’s and don’ts of content creation on the app.

A statement on the TikTok website insists that these guidelines “apply to everyone, and to everything shared on TikTok”, with these conditions assessed and updated frequently to help keep TikTok “a safe place for creativity and joy”. Anybody seen to be breaching the terms laid out within these guidelines will have their content removed from the platform, as well as risk a permanent ban from posting.

Content deemed to be inappropriate for TikTok includes, but is not limited to…

  • Content which promotes terrorism, crime, or any other behavior with the potential to cause harm
  • Content relating to or promoting criminal activity or the trade/sale of goods like drugs and weapons
  • Content which is deemed to be ‘excessively gruesome or shocking’
  • Content that ‘attacks or incites violence against an individual or a group of individuals’
  • Content which consists of any nudity and/or sexual activity
  • Misinformation which has potential to cause harm to the health of an individual or the wider public

Content moderation
To implement these guidelines, TikTok uses a unique blend of AI and human censorship to gauge both the quality of the content and whether or not it meets the community guidelines.

First, videos are uploaded by members of the TikTok community (TikTok users). These videos are analyzed by ‘proactive detection technology’, allowing questionable content to be filtered out and removed from the platform so to ensure that your brand is not placed next to content which you do not want to be associated with.

Next, TikTok’s dedicated monitoring queue provides swift and scalable responses to any reported content before the videos are passed through an issue specific abuse team, where TikTok can make a final decision on whether or not the content in question meets its set guidelines.

Only once a piece of content passes all of these tests can it be placed alongside a paid ad.

Learning on the job
Community guidelines aside, TikTok is working hard to ensure that advertisers aren’t forced to risk brand safety in exchange for a spot on its user’s feeds.

Remember, more established social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook all face regular qualms over security, privacy and other factors relating to brand safety. TikTok is still in its infancy and, as such, is always learning of new ways to ensure protection for both its users and advertisers.

Reports from earlier this year suggest that TikTok is exploring the possibility of implementing a curated feed – inspired by Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ page – to its offering, giving advertisers a risk-free zone to showcase brands, products and services amongst only the most popular TikTok content.

This curated feed, if anything like that introduced by Snapchat in 2015, could also allow advertisers to feature their brand amongst content pushed out by professional publications, celebrities and news items, albeit for a premium price.

Should my brand be using TikTok?
Absolutely. TikTok is experiencing an extraordinary level of growth, with UK downloads alone set to exceed 10 million by the end of 2021 – more than double the 4.9 million it had achieved by the end of 2019.

At Audience Collective, we are firm believers that no organization should have to miss out on the opportunity to ride the wave of TikTok, which is why we work closely with clients to offer finely-tuned TikTok advertising campaigns to reach a relevant audience at the right time.

TikTok is only just getting started and if it’s few years are anything to go by, the future is bright and its early adopters are sure to gain a competitive advantage.

“Amazing keep up the great work”
Arun Bhatoye | Hisense
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