TikTok will Clamp Down on Influencers’ Paid Political Posts before the US Midterm Elections

TikTok will Clamp Down on Influencers’ Paid Political Posts before the US Midterm Elections

TikTok will stop creators from posting paid political messages on the video app

The company said Wednesday that TikTok will work to prevent creators from posting paid political messages on the short-form video app as part of preparations for the US midterm elections in November.

Critics and lawmakers have accused TikTok and rival social media companies including Meta Platforms and Twitter of doing little to stop the spread of political misinformation and divisive content on their apps.

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While TikTok has banned paid political ads since 2019, campaign strategists are circumventing the ban by paying influencers to promote political causes. [nL1N2HH1NQ

Eric Hahn, TikTok’s head of US security, said in a briefing with reporters that the company tried to fill in the loophole by holding briefings with creators and talent agencies to remind them that posting paid political content would violate TikTok policies.

He added that internal teams, including those committed to trust and security, will monitor creators for signs of payment for political content, and the company will also rely on media coverage and external partners to spot offending posts.

“We think it’s a problem in 2020,” Han said. “Once it is discovered… we will remove it from our platform.”

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After similar updates from Meta and Twitter, TikTok revealed its plans.

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said Tuesday that it will limit political advertisers from posting new ads in the week leading up to elections, a move also in 2020.

Last week, Twitter said it plans to revive its pre-midterm tactics, including placing hashtags in front of some misleading tweets and inserting credible information into timelines to debunk false claims before they spread online. Citizenship and voting rights experts say the plan is insufficient to prepare for the elections.

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