China’s TikTok launches US elections guide to combat misinformation

Platform Industry News: TikTok smartphone app video streaming

TikTok is launching an elections direct in the video-sharing app to provide users information about the November the 3rd US elections to help safeguard against misinformation, the company has said in a blog post.

TikTok said the guide will give users access to information about national, state and local applicants from BallotReady, and about how to vote in each state, by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

It will also include educational videos about media literacy and the elections process by digital literacy project MediaWise.

TikTok, which is owned by the China’s ByteDance, was under scrutiny from President Trump’s administration over concerns regarding its handling of consumers’ data.

“Our elections guide is built with user privacy in mind, so a user must visit the website for a state or a non-profit for anything that involves sharing their information, including registering to vote,” said Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of US public policy in the blog post. “Interactions with this guide in our app have no bearing on future TikTok experiences, such as recommendations or ads.”

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TikTok was on Sunday awarded a last-minute reprieve by a US judge, who blocked a Trump administration order set to bar Apple and also Google from providing TikTok for downloading.

Negotiations are under way to hammer out terms of a preliminary deal to Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to take bets in a new business to oversee TikTok’s American operations.

TikTok, that says it’s roughly 100 million monthly busy US users also has become a platform for political material, also faces the challenge of protecting against misinformation and stage abuses before its very first US presidential election.

Last month, journalists found videos containing false claims about mail-in voting and Republican candidates, a number of which TikTok removed after they were flagged by journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.

The elections guide will be accessible from TikTok’s Discover page, on election-related search results and videos and from verified political accounts.

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford. Editing by Nick Zieminski.

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