TikTok has banned paid political influencer posts in advance of the upcoming US midterm elections.
As part of its preparations for the US midterm elections in November, TikTok will strive to prohibit content producers from uploading sponsored political messages on the short-form video app, the business announced on Wednesday.
TikTok and competitor social media firms like as Meta Platforms and Twitter have been accused by critics and politicians of doing too little to prevent political disinformation and divisive content from spreading on their applications.
While TikTok has prohibited paid political advertisements since 2019, campaign strategists have gotten around the rule by paying influencers to promote political causes. According to Eric Han, TikTok's head of US safety, during a press conference, the business intends to fix the loophole by having briefings with artists and talent agencies to remind them that publishing sponsored political content is against TikTok's standards.
He also stated that internal teams, particularly those focused on trust and safety, will look for indicators that creators are being paid to publish political content, and that the firm will depend on media reports and outside partners to identify breaching posts.
"We viewed this as a problem in 2020," Han explained. "Once we discover it, we will delete it from our platform."
TikTok announced their proposal in response to similar announcements from Meta and Twitter.
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, announced Tuesday that it will prohibit political advertisers from running new advertisements a week before the election, a move it made in 2020 as well.
Last week, Twitter announced plans to reprise earlier midterm election efforts, such as labeling certain erroneous tweets and injecting trustworthy material into timelines to disprove false claims before they spread further online. According to civil and voting rights advocates, the strategy is insufficient to prepare for the election.