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With the midterm elections are less than two months away, TikTok is prohibiting politicians and political groups from raising money on its platform.
On Wednesday, the social networking site said on its blog that it would outlaw political campaigns’ fundraising requests. According to the business, political accounts would immediately lose access to monetization tools, including gift-giving, tipping, and e-commerce.
TikTok will crack down on politicians posting videos asking for funds over the next weeks, as well as political parties sending people to online donation pages.
Government-run accounts will have a little bit fewer restrictions. According to TikTok, these accounts would only be permitted to advertise under specific conditions, such as when promoting Covid-19 booster shots in educational campaigns. But in order to launch that kind of campaign, the individuals in charge of those accounts must collaborate with a firm employee.
The new regulations will assist in enforcing a prohibition on political advertising that TikTok, a platform renowned for its brief videos and younger-skewing audience, initially implemented in 2019.
The corporation continues to refer to itself as “first and primarily an entertainment platform,” but the platform is rapidly attracting political content. It has more than a billion monthly users worldwide. Moreover, TikTok is reportedly on its way to becoming a significant hub of political misinformation, propelled by the same factors that make consumer goods and dance videos go popular on the platform, according to researchers who monitor internet hoaxes.
TikTok has announced several initiatives to civilize and secure its platform during a campaign season already characterized by conspiracies and combative speech. The business introduced an “Elections Center” in August, a center on the app with election-related information curated from reliable sources and displayed in more than 45 languages. According to TikTok, posts about the midterm elections will be marked with links pointing people to the elections center.
TikTok announced that it would test a requirement that political accounts in the United States be verified beginning on Wednesday. Additionally, TikTok stated that it was attempting to inform users of its sponsorship policies, which forbid creators from receiving payment to create political content.
How Rules On TikTok Have Been Bent For Its Top Creators
According to leaked audio recordings of internal TikTok meetings from the fall of 2021, TikTok has a two-tiered moderation system offering preferential treatment to influencers, celebrities, and other VIPs. When users with more than 5 million followers submit content prohibited by TikTok’s content guidelines, this more lenient policy enforcement mechanism uses dedicated queues to give those users’ posts priority and protection.
These well-known accounts have been given “creator labels,” according to internal TikTok systems. According to a meeting tape from late September 2021, a TikTok’s Trust & Safety team member stated that the labels were reserved for “special users” whose content was to be monitored individually and in a different way from that of second-class users. We don’t want to manage these accounts the same way we manage other accounts.
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This confirmed what another meeting participant, a consultant from Booz Allen Hamilton, had previously heard from another TikTok employee, the consultant said. He claimed that the employee “was really frank,” saying, “if I posted something inappropriate and a famous person posted something inappropriate, the famous person would be permitted to stay up.”
Similar to most other social media sites, TikTok is overseen by a set of community rules that regulate everything from child sex abuse content to election rumors to risky viral challenges. These guidelines “apply to everyone and everything on TikTok,” the company’s website states.
Jamie Favazza, a spokesman for the company, responded, “TikTok is not more lenient in monitoring accounts with more than 5 million followers,” when questioned about the existence of a separate system for “creative” content regulation at the platform. She added that we do not have moderation lines based on the following sizes. In response to a follow-up query regarding whether the business had previously used such a system, Favazza did not immediately respond.