TikTok has apologised for a former policy censoring and suppressing LGBT+ content on the social media platform.
TikTok was censoring posts by users considered “highly vulnerable to cyberbullying”, including LGBT+.
Accounts and posts from queer people, body positivity advocates and people with disabilities were being limited in their reach, regardless of content.
TikTok blamed a “blunt and temporary” policy in force at the time, and apologised.
The company’s director of government relations and public policy, Theo Bertram, told a UK parliamentary inquiry they “really got that wrong”.
“I’m really sorry. We really got that wrong,” he said this week.
“This was in the early days of TikTok. It was well-intentioned by it was completely wrong.
“The idea was to avoid bullying, that it wouldn’t help going viral, those types of videos.
“But I’m pleased to say that that is certainly a thing of the past.
“I do think TikTok is somewhere where body positivity, the LGBT+ community, don’t just feel protected now, but also celebrated and lifted up.”
Bertram said TikTok would only remove LGBTIQ videos when “law enforcement asked us to do so”.
“I think [Russia’s homophobic ‘gay propaganda’ law] is terrible and our community does too,” he said.
“But unfortunately we have to comply with legal requests in the countries that we operate.”