TikTok bans illegitimate pyramid schemes

How TikTok’s ban helps genuine MLM companies flourish!

Minu Chandran
04 Jan, 2021

Social media has been a great place to sit, chat, and promote ideas since its inception in the late 90s. From there it had gone through several permutations and combinations and now in 2021, its usage has grown in leaps and bounds keeping the users more engaged and informed. With that big an influence, social media can impact the lives of its users to a certain extent. TikTok’s latest measure to ensure the security of its users is one such move. The results however are worth appreciating. When this has to be a disheartening moment for the direct selling world, we have a positive take on the matter!

According to the 2020 July Global Statshot report more than half of the world’s total population now uses social media.

TikTok recently updated its community guidelines banning the upload of content that promotes Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, and multilevel marketing. The guidelines asserted that any activity that could cause “financial or personal harm” to its users is not permitted and that the “content that deceives people in order to gain an unlawful financial or personal advantage..” will be removed. This opening move of TikTok ensures the trust and security of its users while on the platform and devoids fraudsters utilizing the platform for scams and other fraudulent activities to target people who are vulnerable and unaware of MLM and associated concepts.

While TikTok’s guidelines press on the fact that they will ban content promoting outright Ponzi schemes, get-rich-quick hoaxes, and phishing attempts it may not cast a shadow on genuine product awareness and product marketing campaigns because these actually help people find quality products and services to improve their lifestyle. This guideline implementation will drive MLM distributors to concentrate more on highlighting the benefits and quality of products rather than recruiting. Eventually, this would have a positive impact on genuine MLM companies to come forward with quality products and services.

Social media has been an awesome platform for building social circles, exchanging ideas, building new relationships, promoting news, events, and eventually products. It is a big name for marketers who research far and wide devising new strategies to reach their targeted audience. In 2020, when the pandemic gave a tough break to the world, social media saw a 10.5% increase in the total number of social media users.

Social media usage around the world

People resorted to social media to ward off their stress and tried in ways immeasurable to sustain their living. Influencer marketing has gained momentum and marketing companies consider this as a powerful weapon in their arsenal for brand reinforcement. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. have seen the tremendous influence of this marketing strategy on its users. It has been a great place both for marketers and influencers to create an eventful platform for their existence.

Kudos to the TikTok team for bringing in such a great attempt towards curbing social evils and trying to secure its community in every possible way it could. While these may prevent hucksters taking unlawful advantage of naive users in the platform, this is not at all an alarming factor for a legit MLM company. It would undeniably reduce pyramid scams and help in self-cleansing of the direct selling industry. This act has won plaudits from across the world and it’s truly deserving. TikTok has a user base of 800 million worldwide (Datareportal, 2020), though pretty less compared to other social media giants, this major step is one of its kind. This is for all the social media platforms to live and learn.

TikTok Global Usage Overview

Prohibiting outright Ponzi schemes, phishing attempts and get-rich-quick hoaxes is very important and expected but blocking the MLM industry as a whole comes as a surprise. Social responsibility is necessarily a commitment to your community. It doesn’t matter if you are a leader or a dweller. All that matters is for us to have a harmonious balance. Rejecting or blocking a fraud can result in it springing up somewhere else. It’s a whack-a-mole game. Whack it here and it will pop very much next to you. We need a more reasonable approach to understand what is real and what is fake. If we need to really help the community then we should find ways to identify legit business opportunities rather than turning our back on everything associated with it.

Internet use has skyrocketed with 4.57 billion people around the world and of those users, 346 million are new users who have come online within the last 12 months (Digital 2020 July Global Snapshot). In consideration of this ongoing scenario, we understand that the internet has a huge role to play in building healthy competitive business opportunities with weightage duly placed for genuine business options. Not only social media but everyone on the internet has a contribution to make.

How can we ensure that in our social network?

Something like an online business opportunity reference manual with precautions to look out for bogus business opportunities would help people in understanding the possible legal complications associated. Devising your own simple yet unique strategies to identify real and fake opportunities in your sphere of interest will help your fraternity get a fair idea about the perfidy around them and that would help them shield themselves from it.

Since TikTok has showcased its CSR through its updated guidelines, users also should do their part by reporting similar issues that TikTok might have overlooked. There had been frauds on the rise in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic with ignorant users falling prey. Serious and harmful acts of fraud should immediately be brought to the attention of authority and it is a collective responsibility.

Let’s put ourselves on TikTok’s track and start afresh, to defend the good and prevent the bad. It’s time to show our community our commitment and our support for their well-being. So, here’s to a new year, selfless and devoted, to build a society more refined and in harmony for the good of all.

Team Epixel Wishes You a Happy New Year!


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