Douyin initiates verification on trending topics to combat clout-chasing behaviors lacking moral integrity



Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, launched a new verification mechanism on Monday to combat unethical behaviors such as staged and fake videos. This initiative is part of Douyin's ongoing efforts to maintain a healthy online community.

According to a statement from Douyin, one of China's most popular short-video apps, the platform will immediately begin verifying the parties involved in high-profile events and suspected fabricated content.

In some high-profile events, parties involved choose to speak out publicly on the Douyin platform. To ensure the authenticity of these individuals' identities and the content they release, and to prevent the spread of staged and fake content, impersonation, fabricated videos, and rumors, the platform has established regulations for "hot event interested parties" who speak out.

When a high-profile event unfolds, the platform will authenticate accounts that share content purporting to represent the involved parties or their acquaintances. Users receiving system prompts must verify their identities within five hours. Failure to do so within 24 hours will result in a posting ban or other penalties until credible evidence is provided.

The platform will extend the verification time for users experiencing inconvenience, such as the elderly or those who are sick.

Meanwhile, the platform will also verify videos that are creatively produced.

When content creators produce and share fictional content, they must prominently indicate that the video is a dramatization. This should be clearly stated in the video or its caption, such as "fictional dramatization for entertainment purposes only," or similar wording.

For content suspected of being dramatized but not appropriately labeled, the platform will remind the content publisher to adhere to the guidelines and accurately add a disclaimer. If the content remains unlabeled after the reminder, the platform may take actions like content removal, account penalties, or enforced labeling until credible proof is provided by the publisher.

For high-profile content suspected of being staged, the platform will request verification from relevant local departments or collaborate with local media organizations to conduct investigations. If fabrication is confirmed, the platform will take severe action against the account.

The platform reiterated that accounts that cause public or media misunderstanding by not labeling their content will be subject to penalties, such as a 30-day full ban up to an indefinite ban, depending on the severity of the situation.

In recent days, incidents of internet influencers fabricating hot events to attract traffic have been rampant on Chinese social media. In April, a Chinese internet influencer was administratively punished for fabricating an incident involving a Chinese primary school student traveling in Paris, France, purportedly leaving his winter vacation homework behind during a February trip to attract viewers on social platforms.

Douyin platform also released two cases involving content publishers who fabricated videos but did not mark them, including a user who said that she was repeatedly bullied and oppressed by her mother-in-law, and was forced to get a divorce, leading to her developing depression. The platform has decided to ban her account indefinitely.

The platform welcomes the netizens in supervision of the content and encourages them to report any suspected content to the platform for further verification.

Douyin stated that the platform encourages creators to showcase authentic and beautiful aspects of life. Nevertheless, for violations such as clout-chasing behaviors lacking moral integrity, the platform remains committed to addressing these issues through various measures.


Global Times