TikTok names experts who will help shape its content policies

Karissa Bell
Senior Editor
SOPA Images via Getty Images

TikTok has named the group of experts who will help guide the app's content moderation policies as part of the newly formed "Content Advisory Council."

The group, chaired by George Washington University Law Professor Dawn Nunziato, is made up of academics who are experts in issues like child safety, free speech, politics, and video forensics. The seven-member council (the company says it will eventually grow to "around a dozen" people) will start meeting with TikTok's US executives later this month to discuss "critical topics around platform integrity, including policies against misinformation and election interference."

What's not clear is just how much influence this advisory council will ultimately have, or if their involvement will help diffuse criticism of the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. As TikTok's popularity in the US has skyrocketed, the app has been accused of censoring content critical of the Chinese government. TikTok has also been met with suspicion by US government officials, some of whom believe it poses a national security risk and have sought to ban the app from federally-issued devices.

The new content advisory council is just one way TikTok has tried to address these issues. The company announced last week that it would open a "transparency center" in the US, and that it would allow outside experts to examine the app's source code and advise on content moderation and other policies.