TikTok Boasts Aggressive Election Interference, Censorship Campaign

February 16th, 2024 11:08 AM

Communist Chinese government-tied TikTok proudly announced its work to fact-check and crush free speech ahead of European Union elections.

TikTok patted itself on the back and claimed it is the app for “trusted and authoritative” election information in a Feb. 13 release. “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,” the app declared. Part of this election interference is censorship from a team of 6,000 EU content moderators, while users are encouraged to report content for censoring. TikTok will be using fact-checking, content removal, “media literacy campaigns” to counter alleged “misinformation,” and policies targeted at artificial intelligence (AI).

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese ByteDance, boasted about its “misinformation moderators” and censorship teams. “In Q3 2023, 99% of all the content we removed for election and civic misinformation was taken down before it was reported to us,” TikTok bragged. The app further noted that it might restrict or censor political and government accounts that allegedly “undermine a civic process or contribute to real-world harm during an election period.” Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) owns a board seat and maintains a financial stake in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, this seems to be foreign election interference in the EU.

The platform plans to promote allegedly “trusted information” too. “Videos related to the European elections will be labelled to direct people to the relevant Election Centre,” TikTok explained. “As part of our broader election integrity efforts, we will also add reminders to hashtags to encourage people to follow our rules, verify facts, and report content they believe violates our Community Guidelines.” 

TikTok added that it will also continue perpetuating another form of censorship as it relies on fact-checkers to assist with its “counter-misinformation” campaigns. In the new release, the platform explained that it works with nine fact-checking organizations that look at content in 18 different European languages. This follows TikTok’s 2021 announcement that it would flag and downrank fact-checked content.  While TikTok bans political ads, it stated that about 30 percent of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) use the app, among other politicians and news outlets. The CCP-tied app’s influence and censorship could lead to dangerous election interference in the June 2024 EU elections. Americans should take note as they look ahead to their own November 2024 elections

Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at communitymanager@tiktok.com and demand Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment and provide transparency. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.