TikTok moves to counter fake news ahead of EU elections

TikTok says around 30% of the lawmakers in European Parliament use TikTok
A representational image of TikTok logo. — Pixabay

A representational image of TikTok logo. — Pixabay

TikTok, a popular short video platform, has announced to undertake measures to counter fake news and political propaganda operating in disguise on the platform.

The move comes ahead of the European Parliament elections slated to be conducted in June this year with the help of  a local language app in all 27 countries.

Made to serve as a hub to provide Europeans with verified information on the election, including voting procedures and locations, the local language app called "election centres" would establish the work it kicked off in 2021, which further advanced last year when Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain observed polls, according to TikTok. 

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The surge of speedily disseminating misinformation — coupled with the use of social media platforms and AI-assisted maligning content to influence the conduct of elections — has been unnerving governments and politicians all across the globe, Reuters reported.

According to the company, around 30% of the lawmakers in European Parliament use TikTok.

"Next month, we will launch a local language Election Centre in-app for each of the 27 individual EU member states to ensure people can easily separate fact from fiction," TikTok's head of trust & safety EMEA Kevin Morgan said in a blogpost.

He added, "working with local electoral commissions and civil society organisations, these Election Centres will be a place where our community can find trusted and authoritative information."

This development follows the suite TikTok adopted last year, wherein it collaborated with fact-checkers to create informative videos about the voting process and false information at election sites during national elections. 

Morgan remarked that TikTok, which currently partners with nine fact-checking groups in Europe, is willing to broaden its fact-checking network and start nine more media literacy initiatives this year. They will also introduce specialised reports on covert influence operations in the near future to enhance transparency and responsibility.