TikTok reveals plans to counter election misinformation • The Register

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TikTok has joined Twitter in releasing new US misinformation rules mid-term, with considerable crossover in scope and style.

Eric Han, TikTok’s US security manager, shared in a blog post that the social video platform is taking various steps to provide access to authoritative information and counter election disinformation.

Like the medium-term plans Twitter shared last week, a good part of TikTok’s strategy revolves around flagging content, fact-checking, and downplaying identified lies.

“We take our responsibility to protect the integrity of our platform – especially around elections – very seriously,” Han said.

The most notable new feature for TikTok users will be the Election Center, which will be promoted to people who interact with election-related content. The election hub will be available in more than 45 languages, Han said, and will include links to voter registration information, local ballot information, election results and information to make it easier for Deaf Americans. , US citizens living abroad, students and those with criminal records to vote.

The Election Hub will also include links to videos on how to think critically about content viewed online, and Han said any action that requires a user to share information will direct them outside of the app, where he said TikTok would not have access to the data or activity.

Filtering fake and flagged content

Like Twitter, TikTok has become a hotbed of misinformation. As reported by New York TimesTikTok has been used around the world to spreading false narratives during electionsand the same strategies began to appear ahead of the upcoming U.S. midterm elections, the Time said.

Like Twitter, TikTok said it would label content identified as being related to the 2022 US midterm elections and accounts of governments, politicians and political parties. Due to concerns over its ban on political advertising, TikTok said it would work to clarify when influencers are paid to create political content, which is also against TikTok’s terms.

In addition to reporting violations of its advertising restrictions policies, TikTok said it actively collaborates with independent intelligence firms and fact-checking organizations to help it assess the accuracy of content posted on the site.

Han said fact checkers do not moderate content on TikTok, but “their reviews provide valuable information that helps us take appropriate action in accordance with our policies.”

To identify fake content, TikTok said it will review all reported content and accounts. “While the content is fact-checked or when the content cannot be supported by fact-checking, it becomes ineligible for recommendation,” Han said. Like Twitter, TikTok will also notify viewers when they try to share content that has been flagged as unsubstantiated, but will still allow content to be shared.

Can TikTok be trusted?

There has been widespread suspicion around TikTok user data privacy and government influence in China, where the app is developed, to use it as an intelligence tool.

A report from Citizen Lab last year showed that the global version of TikTok, unlike the domestic Chinese version or South Asian variant of the app, was no worse than Facebook when it came to risk. for privacy, although it doesn’t make it look clean. invoice.

TikTok’s US branch responded to pressure in June around its overseas storage of US user data by transferring it entirely to US-based Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, although a month later the company admitted that some China-based employees with sufficient security clearance could still access US data. users.

Earlier this year, TikTok also lost several class action lawsuits in the United States over the collection of too much user data. The lawsuit alleged that the social media app failed to inform users that it was collecting biometric data, who had access to it or where it was shared.

Election integrity initiatives or not, usor caution. ®

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