TikTok Details Measures to Protect 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

The video-creation platform takes aim at deepfakes, coordinated inauthentic activity

TikTok will add an election misinformation option to its in-app reporting feature TikTok

TikTok continues to play defense against the Trump administration’s continued assault on the video-creation platform, detailing a new set of steps to combat misinformation and election interference as the presidential election in the U.S. approaches.

The platform’s misinformation policies are being extended to include synthetic or manipulated media, such as shallow or deepfakes, aimed at misleading users by distorting the truth.

TikTok is also making its policy around coordinated inauthentic behavior more transparent.

TikTok U.S. general manager Vanessa Pappas shared the updated language in a blog post: “Do not engage in coordinated inauthentic activities (such as the creation of accounts) to exert influence and sway public opinion while misleading individuals, our community or the larger public about the account’s identity, location or purpose.”

Pappas also reiterated that TikTok does not accept political ads.

TikTok is expanding its fact-checking partnerships with PolitiFact and Lead Stories in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election in the U.S.

Pappas said that in the coming weeks, TikTok will add an election misinformation option to its in-application reporting feature so that users can more easily report content or accounts for review, and it will roll out an election information center to direct users to authoritative information.

She added that TikTok is working with the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force, which was established by the Department of Homeland Security in 2018, to help stop the threat and dangers of foreign influence on elections, and the company is also working with other threat-assessment platforms to bolster its ability to detect inauthentic activity and improve its safeguards.

Pappas concluded, “Misinformation, disinformation and threats to civic engagement are challenges no platform can ignore. By working together as an industry with experts and civil society organizations, we can better protect the civic processes that are so essential to our users. We’ll continue to share updates and keep our community updated along the way.”

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.