TikTok bolsters anti-misinformation measures ahead of 2022 Federal Election

Social media app TikTok has followed in the footsteps of Meta to introduce a number of measures to mitigate mis-and-disinformation on its’ platform in the leadup to the 2022 Federal Election.

In an Australian first for the app, TikTok has launched an in-app election guide with the support of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), reinforcing its commitment to “providing access to trustworthy and relevant information for our Australian community”.

The election guide promote the importance of being enrolled to vote, for the roughly 600,000 eligible Australians who are not enrolled according to the AEC. Here TikTok will redirect election guide users to the AEC website to check their enrolment status and enroll to vote.

The guide will also provide authoritative information on the election process, from where to vote and how to vote, through to preferential voting explainers, developed by the AEC. This will be bolstered by increased fact checking efforts on the app, in addition to TikTok’s Community Guidelines which already prohibit misinformation. TikTok has partnered with the Australian Associated Press to assist in its fact checking efforts, alongside its existing partnership with Agence France-Press.

The guide will be supported by a number of other measures, including public service announcements that will be added to election-related hashtag pages to remind people to follow the community guidelines, verify facts and report content they believe could be in violation of its policy.

In instances that users identify misleading content on the app, TikTok has developed a specific election misinformation reporting button that will trigger a report to the fact-checking team. Videos found to potentially contain unverified information will be notified that their video is flagged for unverified content, and users who attempt to share the video will be provided with a warning that the content is unverified, with the intention of limiting the spread of misinformation.

To help the AEC better monitor content, TikTok has created a direct reporting channel for the AEC to flag content it believes to be in breach or local electoral laws or TikTok’s community guidelines.

Commenting on the AEC’s new partnership with TikTok, AEC director of digital engagement, Evan Ekin-Smyth said: “We’re liaising closely with TikTok and greatly appreciate their collaboration in driving participation in the election process, and on measures designed to preserve election integrity. We’re excited by TikTok’s Election Guide and its potential to be an important resource for the platform’s community. The hub will help Australian voters on TikTok access credible, reliable information to enrol and vote.”

CEO of the AAP, Lisa Davies added: “AAP has always been committed to factual, independent content and through AAP FactCheck, we are also actively working to minimise the spread of misinformation. Our partnership with TikTok is a significant expansion of that work and in the context of the forthcoming federal election, this will take on increased importance.”

In addition to these measures, TikTok also upholds a policy of not accepting paid political ads on its app.


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