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TikTok Updates Community Guidelines to Provide More Protection for Users

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TikTok Updates Community Guidelines to Provide More Protection for Users

TikTok has announced some new updates to its Community Guidelines, in order to improve its approach to user safety, and combat various, rising concerns stemming from TikTok clips.

The updates come after a range of reports of significant injuries as a result of TikTok challenges, along with advice from experts around exposure to certain types of material, and how it can impact TikTok’s overwhelmingly young audience.

TikTok says that all users will be notified of the updates in the app over the coming weeks, but here’s a look at the specific elements of focus with these changes.

First off, TikTok’s updating its rules around challenges and dangerous acts, with a specific focus on suicide hoaxes, in order to reduce the reach and exposure of such trends.

As per TikTok’s updated guidelines:

Content that encourages or promotes suicide or self-harm hoaxes is not allowed. This includes alarming warnings that could cause panic and widespread harm. We will remove such warnings, while allowing content that seeks to dispel panic and promote accurate information about such hoaxes.

Last November, TikTok conducted a large-scale study to assess the potential dangers of users participating in viral challenges after various reports of significant harm as a result of such. One of the key findings of that report was that even warnings about suicide hoaxes can cause angst, by inadvertently giving them credibility, adding to fears.

The research showed how warnings about self-harm hoaxes – even if shared with the best of intentions – can impact the well-being of teens by treating the self-harm hoax as real.”

TikTok pledged to take action on this element, leading to this update, which will now broaden its enforcement action against such content.

This is a key focus for the platform. Last year, in Italy, a 10- year-old girl died after taking part in a ‘blackout challenge’ in the app, which lead to Italian authorities forcing TikTok to block the accounts of any users whose age it could not verify. The popular ‘Milk Crate Challenge’, which trended earlier this year, also saw many people suffer serious injury after trying to climb stacks of plastic crates, while other concerning trends include the ‘Benadryl challenge’, full face wax, the ‘back cracking challenge’ and more.

Self-harm hoaxes generally involve directing people to carry out a series of harmful activites, which escalate gradually, and can eventually lead to self-harm, and even suicide. Trends like the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and ‘Momo’ are among this more concerning element, where fictional characters play out a horror-like scenario that can drag users into dangerous behavioral pathways.

The new updates will see TikTok working to remove even more of this content, and related elements, as it works to address concerns.

TikTok’s also launching a new push to highlight danger and risk in trending clips.

As part of our ongoing work to help our community understand online challenges and stay safe while having fun, we’ve worked with experts to launch new videos from creators that call on our community to follow four helpful steps when assessing content online – stop, think, decide and act. Community members can also view these videos at our #SaferTogether hub on the Discover page over the next week.”

By incorporating clips from popular creators, TikTok will better highlight these questions, which could get more users to re-think participation in potentially harmful trends.

Because as noted, people are getting injured in their efforts to achieve in-app popularity. You only need one good take to make a great TikTok clip, but it’s not worth risking significant injury – or worse – over, and as the host platform, TikTok does have a responsibility to police such trends where it can.

TikTok’s also expanding its approach to eating disorder-related content.

While we already remove content that promotes eating disorders, we’ll start to also remove the promotion of disordered eating. We’re making this change, in consultation with eating disorders experts, researchers, and physicians, as we understand that people can struggle with unhealthy eating patterns and behavior without having an eating disorder diagnosis.”

The new push will aim to identify related concerns, like over-exercise or certain types of fasting, which can contribute to eating disorders, which will help to address the issue more broadly, and combat potential harm.

TikTok’s also updating its rules around misgendering and misogyny to combat hate speech, as well as content that supports or promotes conversion therapy programs.

“Though these ideologies have long been prohibited on TikTok, we’ve heard from creators and civil society organizations that it’s important to be explicit in our Community Guidelines. On top of this, we hope our recent feature enabling people to add their pronouns will encourage respectful and inclusive dialogue on our platform.”

Finally, TikTok’s also adding in more elements to expand its focus on unauthorized use of its platform, including new rules against spamming, crawling TikTok for user info, and other exploits.

“In addition to educating our community on ways to spot, avoid, and report suspicious activity, we’re opening state-of-the-art cyber incident monitoring and investigative response centers in Washington DC, Dublin, and Singapore this year. TikTok’s Fusion Center operations enable follow-the-sun threat monitoring and intelligence gathering, as we continue working with industry-leading experts to test and enhance our defenses.”

These are key elements for TikTok as it continues to expand, and potential misuse of the app rises in alignment. More access to more people means more ill-intentioned groups will seek to utilize its platform for such, and again, with so many young users, TikTok needs to do all it can to provide protection, where possible, and alerts.

It’s a never-ending battle, as every update and shift in policy sees bad actors also update their tactics, but it is important for TikTok to both be clear in its approach on such, and to take action at every turn.

You can read TikTok’s updated Community Guidelines here.


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Twitter Blue Subscribers Can Now Post Tweets Up to 4,000 Characters Long

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Twitter Blue Subscribers Can Now Post Tweets Up to 4,000 Characters Long

So, this is a thing…

Twitter has rolled out longer tweets to Twitter Blue subscribers in the US, with paying users now able to post tweets up to 4,000 characters in length.

If anyone needed or wanted that.

Longer tweets will be displayed in the main feed at standard length, with a ‘Show more…’ indicator pointing users to the remainder of the content.

Honestly, it’s sadly ironic that not even Twitter could come up with a good use of the extra characters in its example, but yes, Twitter Blue users – all 300,000 of them – will now be able to post super long rants about whatever they choose in the app.

As explained by Twitter:

“[Twitter Blue users] can also compose longer Tweets in a Quote Tweet or reply. Standard functionality like posting media, creating polls, and using hashtags still apply. Everyone will be able to read longer Tweets, but only Blue subscribers can create them.

I don’t know if anyone requested this, but Twitter 2.0 chief Elon Musk seems convinced that by enabling users to post long-form content, that will eventually open up new avenues to monetization, and will see more top voices posting more stuff to the app.

I mean, the recent Twitter Files are probably the best example – Elon’s hand-picked team of journalists have been trawling through Twitter’s archives to uncover accusations of corruption and Government meddling, all ended up posting their findings in ridiculously long tweet threads in the app.

It would make more sense to post them on a more long-form focused format, but Musk obviously wants all the attention on Twitter – and in instances like this, maybe having longer tweets could be valuable.

But I don’t know.

It also seems short-sighted to only provide this functionality to Twitter Blue users. As noted, only a small fraction of Twitter’s 250 milllion total user base is paying for a blue tick, and while Twitter is now expanding the offering into new markets, it’s hard to see it catching on in any real way.

That means that a lot of the most popular creators won’t even be able to use the option, which seems counterintuitive. But then again, Elon will probably look to add in a new monetization element, which you have to pay up to qualify for, which is probably his broader view for limiting access at this stage.

Who knows – maybe it ends up being amazing, and maybe it makes it way easier to post what would have been multi-tweet threads in a more engaging, interesting way in the app.

It’s different, for sure, very different from Twitter’s usual offering.



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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

Ad data and analytics provider DoubleVerify (DV) is building the right side of a cup base with a buy point of 32.53. The growth stock is today’s selection for IBD 50 Stocks to Watch.




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DoubleVerify has a strong Composite Rating of 94 and a Relative Strength Rating of 89. Its stellar EPS Rating of 96 is even better.

Company sales grew 35% to $112.3 million in the third quarter while earnings per share of 6 cents grew 20% from the previous year.

On Jan. 10, analysts at Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight with a price target of 29. Shares gapped up over 6% on the news, and the move helped the stock start its recovery from the January low.

Growth Stock Surges After Finding Fraud Scheme

DoubleVerify helps advertising companies that target users on video, mobile, and social media platforms. The company also has an analytics side that provides data on consumer engagement.

The digital media analytics platform ensures that ads reach their target customers in a safe way. This means that ads reach actual people with the right context. The software also has tools to adapt ads to different devices.

Its technology also seeks to address ad fraud. On Thursday, the company discovered “BeatSting,” the first large-scale ad-impression fraud scheme that targeted audio ads.

DV Fraud Lab first identified the fraud scheme in 2019, which is largely responsible for advertisers losing $20 million in several scams, according to reports. DoubleVerify was credited for unveiling the fraud. Shares last Thursday surged nearly 4% in strong volume.

Deals With Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, Facebook

The company has partnered with leading social media and mobile platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok to improve ad impact and experience. DoubleVerify has a long-standing relationship with Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META). The social media platform faced a massive boycott in 2020 when several companies removed their ads due to concerns over their brand safety.

In June of last year, DoubleVerify brought features that will allow marketers to see where their ads appear in a user’s timeline. The feature uses artificial-intelligence tools to understand the context in which ads appear. The feature also enhanced brand safety  and attracted Twitter and other social media platforms to try it out. Nonetheless, marketers did not buy in entirely, according to reports, as Twitter’s ad revenue continued to struggle.

The growth stock ranks second in the specialty enterprise software group. The stock went public in April 2021. The New York-based company has locations in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Mutual funds own 39% of shares outstanding. That may not seem like much, but more funds have been picking up the growth stock over the past eight quarters, according to MarketSmith. The stock has an Accumulation/Distribution Rating of B-.

Exchange traded funds hold shares of DoubleVerify as well. The Invesco S&P Small Cap Information Technology ETF (PSCT) and the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF (XITK) own DV.

Please follow VRamakrishnan on Twitter @IBD_VRamakrishnan for more news on growth stocks.

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

YouTube has added a new time targeting element to its Masthead Ads, which will enable brands to display their promotions in key times leading up to key events.

As explained by YouTube:

In a time of multiple screens and countless ways to stay entertained, it can be challenging to get your audience’s attention. But even with so much content available at any time, people are drawn to moments they can experience together: a new movie release, a big game, a product launch, a holiday. And these are key opportunities to connect with a brand. Marketers, you know this well: you center advertising campaigns around the tentpole moments most likely to inspire your audience, shift perceptions or influence a purchase decision.”

YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead enables brands to own the most prominent placement in the app during the hour(s) leading up to, during or after priority moments.

For example:

“[During the recent World Cup], McDonald’s Brazil turned to the YouTube Cost-Per-Hour Masthead. Their strategy was savvy: reach anyone in Brazil who was watching YouTube an hour before the Brazil vs. Cameroon match and remind them to pick up McDonald’s before the game started. This perfectly timed execution delivered tens of millions of impressions at the very moment fans were preparing for the match.

It could be a good way to hook into key moments, and build momentum for your campaigns, while also establishing association with key events and subjects.

“Just a few weeks ago, Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, prepared to launch their highly anticipated Redmi Note 12 series via YouTube livestream. To drive viewership, Xiaomi ran the Cost-Per-Hour Masthead during the event. Not only did this activation drive scaled awareness, it led to over 90,000 concurrent livestream views. The Redmi Note 12 went on to generate a record number of first-week sales, making it one of their most successful launches to date.

It’s an expansive, but potentially significant targeting option, which could hold appeal for big brands looking to make a big splash around major events and releases.

You can learn more about YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead process here.

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