Social Media Influencer and Source Credibility: Endorsing Content Moderation on Douyin

Renyi He, Hao Tian


Content moderation (CM) is widely employed by social media platforms to curb false information, but it often leads to a form of censorship that hampers discussions and lowers the accountability of CM. Short-video platform Douyin made a novel effort to enhance its accountability by launching an influencer named Meiloufeng, who introduces CM policies and interacts with users through entertaining short videos. The purpose of Meiloufeng is to enhance his credibility as the source of CM to increase the accountability of Douyin. The analysis found that being both a human source and an institutional source jointly shaped the construction of Meiloufeng’s source credibility. This study also revealed that, rather than addressing the need to enhance the degree of transparency, the introduction of Meiloufeng raised a more important question: How can the degree of transparency be explored to better inform the public and be accepted by the platforms?


social media influencer, source credibility, human source, institutional source, content moderation, Douyin, transparency, accountability

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