TikTok says it’ll ramp up fight against fake news, covert influence operations ahead of EU elections

TikTok plans to ramp up efforts to combat fake news and covert influence operations ahead of June’s elections for European Parliament, the video-based social media app announced Wednesday.

The app will launch local language “election centres” for every European Union (EU) member state next month to “ensure people can easily separate fact from fiction,” according to a blog post.

“Working with local electoral commissions and civil society organisations, these Election Centres will be a place where our community can find trusted and authoritative information,” Kevin Morgan, TikTok’s head of Safety & Integrity for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, wrote in the post.

“This initiative is just one element of a wider strategy to ensure that TikTok remains a creative, safe, and civil place for our community during the election period,” he added.

TikTok also emphasized it has more than 6,000 people focused on moderating content in the EU, including detecting and removing misinformation and disrupting covert influence networks.

The app noted it works with several fact-checking organizations in Europe to label claims that can’t be verified and launch media literacy campaigns. It also highlighted its rules for content generated with artificial intelligence.

As the U.S. braces for November’s presidential election, the recent decision by President Biden’s campaign to join the app, which is popular among younger generations, has drawn scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

TikTok, with its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, has been the focus of bipartisan concerns about data privacy and national security and is currently banned from federal government devices.

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