CCP-Tied TikTok to Censor ‘Election Misinformation’ Ahead of U.S Midterms

Chinese Communist Party-tied social media app TikTok has announced that it will censor “election misinformation” in the run-up to the U.S. midterms.

The China-based social media company says it will add new policies related to political content ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

TikTok, which has ties to China’s communist dictatorship, says it will promote “authoritative information” about America’s elections.

The company says it will also add labels to “election-related” information and vows to ensure that “authentic content thrives” on the platform.

The updated guidelines expand the social media app’s 2020 political guidelines that seek to stop “misinformation” in U.S. elections.

“TikTok isn’t a go-to hub for breaking news, and we don’t accept paid political ads, but we are committed to combatting the spread of misinformation on the platform, including through supporting our community with education and authoritative information on important public topics like elections,” its updated election integrity policy states.

“Our goal is to help TikTok remain a place where authentic content thrives,” it added.

As part of its updated “election integrity” efforts, TikTok is consulting with several organizations.

In 2020, TikTok worked with the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Election Integrity Partnership, and its own Content Advisory Council.

Additional collaboration noted in its guidelines includes left-wing “fact-checking” organizations such as Agence France-Presse (AFP), Newtral, Facta, and PolitiFact.

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The company will also consult with Democrat President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

TikTok has included four specific features within its app as part of its effort.

The list includes Hashtag PSA, which adds notices on “many” election-related pages “to remind people to follow our Community Guidelines, verify facts, and report content they believe may violate our policies.”

Other features include a reporting option, the addition of educational videos, and an in-app guide featuring information on elections.

Further efforts related to the new policies include details about the potential to remove content violating community guidelines, redirecting search results, reducing “discoverability,” or potentially blocking live streams or accounts that “demonstrate a persistent misunderstanding of the platform’s code of conduct.”

TikTok’s Elections Center includes resources in 45 languages.

Though the app provided political guidelines during the 2020 election, the 2022 midterm guidelines are expanded and launched six weeks earlier than in the previous presidential election.

TikTok’s announcement echoes other social media platforms that have recently added new efforts to stop the spread of election misinformation.

As Slay News reported, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, provided an update on its election plans in a blog post on Tuesday.

“Our approach to the 2022 US midterms applies learnings from the 2020 election cycle and exceeds the measures we implemented during the last midterm election in 2018,” the post read.

“This includes advanced security operations to fight foreign interference and domestic influence campaigns, our network of independent fact-checking partners, our industry-leading transparency measures around political advertising and pages, as well as new measures to help keep poll workers safe.”

Twitter also launched its updated election guidelines last week.

“People on Twitter will see a prompt prior to liking or sharing labeled tweets, and in cases where there is potential for harm associated with the false or misleading claim, the Tweet may not be liked or shared to prevent the spread of the misleading information,” Twitter shared in its update.

The platform will also return with its “prebunks” in an effort to get ahead of “misleading narratives” regarding the 2022 midterm elections.

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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