Apps & Mobile

TikTok Bans LGBTQ Content. Is It Time For A Boycott?

image from www.themobileindian.comLil Nas X came out as gay on social media. But TikTok, the app that helped make his "Old Town Road" a summer mega-hit, would now ban the announcement in many countries.

Popular short-form video-sharing app TikTok has updated its moderation settings to effectively ban content depicting gay people or supporting gay rights in many countries, even if it has never been illegal there.

The rules came as an update to the service’s general moderation guidelines, which also included changes which are sure to please the Chinese government, including barring references to Tiananmen Square, Tibet, and Falun Gong. 

The LGTBQ ban get's its own section, according to the Guardian, who first reported the change.

'an entire section of the rules was devoted to censoring depictions of homosexuality. “Intimate activities (holding hands, touching, kissing) between homosexual lovers” were censored, as were “reports of homosexual groups, including news, characters, music, tv show, pictures”. Similarly blocked was content about “protecting rights of homosexuals (parade, slogan, etc.)” and “promotion of homosexuality”. In all those guidelines, TikTok went substantially further than required by law.'

As the Guardian noted, TikTok runs multiple sets of moderation guidelines, including a strict ruleset designed for use in theocracies with strict moral codes, with banned content including “partially naked buttocks” and exposed cleavage.

Other guidelines are less strict but intended to deal with locally relevant controversial material such as alcohol consumption in Islamic countries, Kurdish separatism in Turkey, and criticism of its authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, stepped into the hole left by the dissolution of short-form video service Vine, and has played a key role in the rise of several prominent artists, including rapper Lil Nas X, whose mammoth hit “Old Town Road” was propelled to the mainstream after it went viral on TikTok.

 According to the Guardian, the rules came as an update to the service’s general moderation guidelines, which also included changes which are sure to please the Chinese government, including barring references to Tiananmen Square, Tibet, and Falun Gong.

TikTok runs multiple sets of moderation guidelines, including a strict ruleset designed for use in theocracies with strict moral codes, with banned content including “partially naked buttocks” and exposed cleavage.

Other guidelines are less strict but intended to deal with locally relevant controversial material such as alcohol consumption in Islamic countries, Kurdish separatism in Turkey, and criticism of its authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, stepped into the hole left by the dissolution of short-form video service Vine.

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33 Comments

  1. Please stop hating on people when they do stuff like ban lgbtq content. We all have the right the and freedom to express our opinions and beliefs. It’s not just a right for gays.

  2. It’s not even expressing beliefs. It’s literally forcing people to be someone they’re not to please some stereotypical assholes. Imagine if you liked something and supported it, but someone said you couldn’t do that. That’s fucked up and disgusting.

  3. I agree 100%. The left wingers think the 1st amendment only applies to them…ideas they disagree with are simply deemed, “Hate speech” and thus, should not be tolerated. They’re not tolerant of intolerance because they’re walking paradoxical oxymoronic morons.

  4. Wrong. Corporations are people. The SCOTUS has already made its decision on this topic. Read a book buddy

  5. No, no boycott needs to happen. This is one good thing TikTok has done and they have a right to it.

  6. Your entire sentence could be used for either sides of the argument which one are you for? LGBTQ claiming hate speech when others disagree while others wanting LGBTQ to be who there not… both bad but i’m kinda tired of the obnoxious demeanor of both extremes

  7. And yet who would be crying if the app decided to ban images of people showing off their gun collections.

  8. so let me get this straight, you think suppressing someone else’s right to freedom of speech falls under your right to freedom of speech/expression? Dude, your rights end where someone else’s begin. You can say you don’t like them all you want, but you can’t ban them from using their freedom of speech. It literally does not work like that. The only way that you can ban some form of speech is if it’s excessively profane (bad words) or presents clear a immediate danger (calls to arms, threats), which LGBT people are not presenting, therefore they are within their rights. TikTok, is technically, not within their rights and if based in the US, would be violating the 1st amendment.

  9. This is all just wrong! Why would they ban who people are, they can’t change who their attracted to and their expressing who they are. You can just ban sexuality’s, this is gonna make a lot of people mad….

  10. Chief this is a global global app… They can do whatever they want. I love how it’s such a big deal to ban lgbtq from something but not guns…

  11. Really, I’m not sure they do. They are restricting our rights, which isn’t exactly something that can be done. You, my Christian friend, need to follow the teachings of the Holy Bible, and don’t judge. If you’re not Christian, you must be a baby boomer… Your generation has taught you wrong. The world has changed. Change with it. And if you aren’t either of those things, simply fuck you for being so narrow-minded.
    Sincerely,
    A 15 year old boy with more intelligence than you and the people that taught you this.

  12. Agree with Mondo Man! The left wingers are either made of 15 year old snowflakes or extremely cunning politicians and journalists who take advantage of these snowflakes.
    Get some common sense and at least have a fucking code to live with and don’t be cry babies about everything. Remember this: Your rights is someone else’s responsibility. So, go build your own app.
    I’m not even from the US but the situation there seems both laughable and pathetic to the non westerners.
    Weak men create bad times; bad times create strong men; Strong men create good times; Good times create weak men. You Americans are definitely in the 4th step of the cycle.

  13. Stop moving the goal posts with your logical fallacy. Just because you perceive the gun issue to be a more serious problem does not mean that the LGBTQ issue is not equally as big to others. Straight up sh*t logic strawman argument that doesn’t hold water for anyone but you and those that believe as you do.

  14. No one should be tolerant of intolerance. Do you even read what you write? Do you think the black people in America should be tolerant of the KKK because the KKK also has the constitutional right to free speech? What a poorly thought out nonsensical dumb comment you have there.

  15. You mean the bought and paid for republican Senators that made that stupid fucking easily disproven bullshit into law? But, out of curiosity, what’s the title of the hypothetical book you are referring to that contains the explanation of how a business is a person?

  16. if you are gonna say that, first think about if something was banned, like if your a girl (for example) and all YouTube videos that were made by girls were banned. You cant just ban something for what people are.

  17. ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? how to respond.
    YOU LITTLE BITCH.
    umm?
    would u like to be banned from this website?
    its DEFINETLY not as bad as being banned for being LGBTQ…
    in fact
    what the actual FUCK.

  18. hi bitch. its me. you need to stop being a bigoted asshole. what the actual fuck is wrong with you? you cant ban who people are. its not something you can turn on and off. so deal with it.

  19. can you just not? im not part of the LGBTQ community, but I support it 10000000000000%. pls go dig up a hole and perish.
    *p o o f*
    you just got banned from this world.
    hOw DoEs It FeEl?

  20. wow, i feel pretty bad for people for you.
    such a bad live you live,
    living in a little hole in this world without looking around you.
    man, you probably need to poof away from this planet and die.
    t h a n k

  21. do only complete morons read this website? This comment section is literally full of bigoted trash boomers arguing that their gun collections should get precedent over human rights of other people who also collect guns f****** mind blowing

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