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TikTok will launch in-app Election Centers to monitor fake news during EU elections

A 3D TikTok graphic

ByteDance-owned social media platform TikTok has revealed its plans for the European Parliament elections in the UK arriving in June 2024. The company shared that it will be launching a local language Election Center in-app that would prevent the spread of misinformation.

The Election Centers will be available in-app in 27 countries of the EU and will tackle the spread of fake news and covert influence operations during the election period. The countries included are Germany, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Spain, Sweden Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Italy.

TikTok revealed it has 6,000 employees regulating the EU language content. These members are collaborating with civil society organizations and government bodies to regulate the media.

The company also mentioned that it is planning to set up a “Mission Control” body in its Dublin office to develop a team dedicated to monitoring the platform during the election period.

According to the newsroom post, in Q3 2023, TikTok removed 99% of election-related fake content before it was reported to the platform.

The platform mentioned that it is working with nine European organizations that will fact-check all media related to the elections in 18 European languages. The company has also scheduled nine media literacy campaigns for 2024 to spread awareness among its users.

All in all, the Election Centers will aim to educate the public about the election process while also providing them with factual information. Moreover, TikTok mentioned that it will produce reports on covert influence operations as well.

TikTok highlighted that it hosts verified accounts of about 30% of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). This adds to the company’s responsibility to ensure that authentic information surfaces the platform. TikTok further explained by stating:

“Accounts belonging to politicians, political parties, governments and news organisations also play a unique role in civic discourse, and while we remove their violative content like we do for anyone else, we also apply more nuanced account enforcement policies to protect the public interest. For example, if such an account were to post content promoting misinformation that could undermine a civic process or contribute to real-world harm during an election period, we may restrict that account from posting content for up to 30 days, in addition to removing the content for breaking our rules.”

Apart from this, TikTok is adding labels for AI-generated content too. We saw this as an emphasis of many platforms following the establishment of the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC). The consortium encouraged platforms like Meta and OpenAI to watermark AI-generated content so there is a distinction between real and artificially produced images.

Lastly, the company mentioned that it plans to invest $2bn globally to keep the platform safe for users.

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