TikTok Denies Offering Leniency to ‘Top Creator’ Accounts—Including Musicians

TikTok denies offering leniency to top creator accounts
  • Save

TikTok denies offering leniency to top creator accounts
  • Save
Photo Credit: Amanda Vick

A new report has revealed TikTok favors what it considers ‘top creator’ accounts, including several high-profile musicians. Here’s the latest.

The Guardian reports that special status is awarded to these creator accounts, with moderators directed to ‘be more lenient’ with content posted by said accounts. There’s a hierarchy of users, with certain individuals or groups assigned internal tags that grant leeway in running afoul of TikTok’s platform rules.

Some of the tags that are attached internally to these accounts include ‘super account,’ ‘super account super account,’ ‘Top PGC,’ and ‘top creator.’ The ‘top creator’ designation is one that is seemingly applied as an umbrella term for all of these internal tags. “No one understands what a super account is, but we are told to be extra cautious,” one TikTok staff member told The Guardian.

The result is that these ‘top creator’ accounts often are moderated less seriously than the typical user, without regard to the platform’s official guideline. The term ‘top creator’ is mostly used in internal chats with moderators, referring to them as ‘edge cases’—situations in which the rules should not apply. When asked, a TikTok spokesperson said it did not recognize the term ‘edge cases.’

Some of the accounts that allegedly have the designation ‘top creator’ include the controversial comedian Russell Brand, pop star Sam Smith, and YouTuber Ethan Payne. Meanwhile, TikTok denies that these internal tags are used to influence moderation decisions at all.

“These allegations about TikTok’s policies are wrong or based on misunderstandings, while the Guardian has not given us enough information about the other claims to investigate,” the spokesperson said. “Our community guidelines apply equally to all content on TikTok.”

This isn’t the first time TikTok has been accused of using a two-tier moderation system for its community. A Forbes investigation last year found the same preferential treatment for VIPs, celebrities, and influencers. In TikTok’s early days, Digital Music News reported how content from what TikTok considered ‘fat, ugly, disabled, or LGBTQ+ people’ were kept out of the ‘Discover’ feature.