(CelebrityAccess) — Shortform video sharing service TikTok has updated its moderation settings to effectively ban content depicting gay people, or supporting gay rights, even in countries where such behavior is legal.
According to the Guardian, who first reported the change, 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.
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.