After testing it with a select pool of users over the past weeks, TikTok is officially launching its in-stream labels. TikTok in-stream labels for AI-generated content provide users with an extra level of in-app transparency. With its high level of polarization, more transparency on TikTok might actually be a good thing.

Don’t Forget the Labels!

Based on official examples, TikTok will require users who have used AI for content creation to flag it as such. If users fail to declare explicitly AI-generated work, then they risk having said content removed. Users should see a new “Creator labeled as AI-generated” tag, helping avoid confusion and limiting misinformation spread.

Here is the rationale behind TikTok in-stream labels:

“AI enables incredible creative opportunities, but can potentially confuse or mislead viewers if they’re not aware content was generated or edited with AI. Labeling content helps address this, by making clear to viewers when content is significantly altered or modified by AI technology. That’s why we’re rolling out a new tool for creators to easily inform their community when they post AI-generated content.”

That is an important step. Many AI-generated images have sown confusion, such as The Balenciaga Pope and fake Pentagon explosion. As AI tools continue to evolve, that will only get worse. All platforms must get ahead of such as best as possible, limiting harmful impacts.

That was the main focus of the recent AI regulation meeting in Washington, seeing all top tech execs in attendance. The consensus coming out of that meeting calls for relevant regulation. Tech is moving fast, and the ability of regulations to catch up remains in the gray area. TikTok updated its official rules on this element in March and is now stepping up enforcement. There is now a dedicated tag for AI-generated content that creators can activate within the upload flow.

TikTok, again, leaps to the forefront of all social platforms, becoming the first to add an AI-generated tag. Instagram is developing its AI content labels, while YouTube is also revamping its tools for the coming “AI Tsunami”. X, meanwhile, continues to rely on its Community Notes to keep its users informed on artificial content.

The Wrap

TikTok in-stream labels are a much-welcomed update and will keep users informed of AI manipulation in-stream. More AI tools emerge each day, requiring all platforms to implement similar tools. Likewise, platforms should also develop AI image detectors to help ward off misuse.