TikTok is in trouble. Millions of people joined the app for dance videos and lip synch, but now they’re being bombarded with election lies and conspiracy theories.
With just days to go to the US midterms, the platform is being flooded with baseless claims about voter fraud and right wing extremists inciting violence.
TikTok execs are already rattled by criticism that the platform was pumping out disinformation ahead of the Brazilian election. Let’s put TikTok on public notice again, and pressure the company to crackdown on these toxic posts and their problematic algorithm before the US heads to the polls.
TikTok: Stop election lies and conspiracy theories on your platform
TikTok says that its policies ban election disinformation but the problem is the platform isn’t enforcing them.
Because TikTok is exclusively video content, it’s trickier to moderate because of difficulties for automated systems to scan for disinformation in videos as well as text. And its hyper-tailored algorithm means that any user has the chance of a post going viral, they don’t need to have a large following to reach millions.
SumOfUs members have forced some of the world’s most powerful tech companies to back down. Remember when in the face of a fierce public backlash, Mark Zuckerberg shelved Instagram for kids?
TikTok execs won’t want to be seen as the next Facebook, whose failure to address the disinformation epidemic nearly derailed US democracy in 2020. By putting the public spotlight on TikTok’s disinformation crisis, we can spur executives into action.
TikTok: Protect elections not your bottom line.
New York Times. 14 August 2022.
Global Witness. 21 October 2022.
The Guardian. 25 October 2022.