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TikTok announces referendums and elections plans

Video-sharing platform TikTok has outlined the steps it is taking ahead of the upcoming referendums and European elections.

Measures include combatting misinformation, banning political ads, directing people to trusted information and partnering with fact checkers and experts.

In Ireland, TikTok has set up a dedicated referendum task force and has launched an in-app hub which includes details of how to register to vote and tips on how to identify misinformation and fake news.

Next month, ahead of the European elections, TikTok said it will launch a local language Election Centre in-app for each of the 27 individual European Union member states to help users separate fact from fiction.

In a newsroom post, TikTok’s European Head of Safety and Integrity Kevin Morgan said its teams are using technology to detect and remove misinformation, covert influence operations, and other content and behaviour that can increase during an election period.

“We have specialised misinformation moderators who are given enhanced tools and training to detect and remove violative content, as well as teams on the ground who partner with experts to ensure local context and nuance is reflected in our approach,” Mr Morgan said.

TikTok said it has introduced new rules and technologies to tackle misleading AI-generated content (AIGC).

“We do not allow manipulated content that could be misleading, including AIGC of public figures if it depicts them endorsing a political view,” Mr Morgan said.

“We also require creators to label any realistic AIGC and recently launched a first-of-its-kind tool to help people do this.”

“As the technology evolves, we will continue to strengthen our efforts, including by working with industry through content provenance partnerships,” he added.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has previously announced details of its preparations for elections in Europe and across the world this year.

The company said it has built the largest independent fact-checking network of any platform.

It has also announced that advertisers will have to disclose when they use AI or other digital techniques to create or alter a political or social issue ad in certain cases.

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