With the advent of the Novmber Midterm Election, social media platform TikTok has taken action to keep the platform “free of political bias”. Starting October 25, the site will flag any content that involves political fundraising or any form of political bias. It will also require U.S government officals and other candidates to verify their accounts to the public.
“TikTok is an entertainment platform originally intended to distance itself from social media’s effects on public perceptions and past elections”, says TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in a press release. “The app may appear innocent enough, with its lip-sync videos and impractical cooking ‘hacks.’ But if TikTok has the power to convince teens to get themselves arrested, it’s certainly powerful enough to influence the political landscape”.
Furthermore, TikTok has banned monetization methods to an accounts the app identifies as “government run”. These include advertising features, censoring political content and/or harsh language, and disinformation amongst various cultures. “Any act of solicitation is unwarranted in these uncertain times”, says TikTok employee Lauren Leffer.
With over 200 million viewers daily, TikTok is the most popular video sharing website, eclipsing YouTube by over 10 million viewers. Politicians and citizens alike believe the app has made a strong influence on the 2020 presidential election with it’s jeers at both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. We’re aiming to strike a balance between enabling people to discuss the issues that are relevant to their lives while also protecting the creative, entertaining platform that our community wants,” concludes Chew.