TikTok Introduces Its Content Advisory Council

George Washington University Law School Prof. Dawn Nunziato is the chair

TikTok expects to expand its Content Advisory Council to about one-dozen Anatoliy Sizov/iStock

TikTok introduced the founding members of its Content Advisory Council, which it initially pledged to create last October.

General manager of TikTok U.S. Vanessa Pappas said in a blog post that the council will meet with the video creation platform’s U.S. leaders to discuss areas of importance to the company and its users, with the first meeting, scheduled for the end of March, focusing on platform integrity issues, including policies against misinformation and election interference.

She wrote, “The council members we’ve assembled represent a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives, and spent much of their lives researching, studying and analyzing issues relevant to TikTok and the space we operate in, such as child safety, hate speech, misinformation and bullying. We will call upon our council to provide unvarnished views on and advice around TikTok’s policies and practices as we continually work to improve in the challenging area of content moderation. That’s why we’re excited to have members who represent legal, regulatory and academic expertise, as well as the needs and perspectives of our diverse community.”

The initial members of the Content Advisory Council—which Pappas said will soon grow to about one-dozen—are:

  • Rob Atkinson, president, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who brings academic, private-sector and government experience, along with knowledge of technology policy.
  • Hany Farid, professor, University of California-Berkeley, a renowned expert on digital image and video forensics, computer vision, deepfakes and robust hashing.
  • Mary Anne Franks, professor of law, University of Miami Law School, who focuses on the intersection of law and technology.
  • Vicki Harrison, program director, Stanford Psychiatry Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, a social worker at the intersection of social media and mental health who understands child safety issues and holistic youth needs.
  • Content Advisory Council chair Dawn Nunziato, William Wallace Kirkpatrick research professor at George Washington University Law School and an internationally recognized expert in free speech and content regulation.
  • David Ryan Polgar, founder of All Tech Is Human and a leading voice in tech ethics, digital citizenship and navigating the complex challenge of aligning societal interests with technological priorities.
  • Dan Schnur, professor at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication and the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, who brings valuable experience and insight on political communications and voter information.

Nunziato said in the blog post, “A company willing to open its doors to outside experts to help shape upcoming policy shows organizational maturity and humility. I am working with TikTok because they’ve shown that they take content moderation seriously, are open to feedback and understand the importance of this area both for their community and for the future of healthy public discourse.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.