TikTok is preparing for European Elections to tackle misinformation

TikTok is preparing for European Elections to tackle misinformation


15 February 2024

TikTok, the social media company owned by ByteDance, has disclosed preparations for the European elections in June 2024. The firm announced that it will develop a local language Election Center in-app to combat the spread of disinformation.

The Election Centers will be available in-app in 27 EU nations, combating the spread of fake news and covert influence activities throughout the election season. The nations include Germany, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Spain, and Sweden. Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Italy.

TikTok said that it has 6,000 people that regulate EU language material. These members work with civil society organizations and government agencies to control the media.

The company has stated that it intends to establish a "Mission Control" body in its Dublin headquarters to build a staff devoted to monitoring the platform throughout the election season.

TikTok eliminated 99% of election-related fraudulent content before it was discovered (newsroom post, Q3 2023).

The site has partnered with nine European groups to fact-check election-related media in 18 languages. The corporation has also planned nine media literacy programs for 2024 to raise awareness among its consumers.

Overall, the electoral Centers will seek to educate the public about the electoral process while also providing them with accurate information. Furthermore, TikTok stated that it will provide reports on covert influence activities.

TikTok stated that it hosts verified accounts for around 30% of Members of the European Parliament. This adds to the company's obligation to guarantee that accurate information appears on the platform. TikTok elaborated by stating:

Accounts belonging to politicians, political parties, governments and news organisations also play a unique role in civic discourse, and while we remove their violative content like we do for anyone else, we also apply more nuanced account enforcement policies to protect the public interest. For example, if such an account were to post content promoting misinformation that could undermine a civic process or contribute to real-world harm during an election period, we may restrict that account from posting content for up to 30 days, in addition to removing the content for breaking our rules.

Apart from that, TikTok is also offering labels for AI-generated content. Following the founding of the United States AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), various platforms have emphasized this.The consortium pushed platforms like Meta and OpenAI to watermark AI-generated material to distinguish between actual and artificially made photos.

Finally, the company announced that it intends to invest $2 billion globally to make the platform secure for consumers.

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