TikTok to launch online election centres to counter misinformation

The video-sharing platform has outlined some of its plans for upcoming elections in the UK and around the world.

Concerns have been raised about the potential impact of social media on elections this year
Concerns have been raised about the potential impact of social media on elections this year (Alamy Stock Photo)

TikTok has unveiled plans to launch online election centres on the platform as part of its efforts to support electoral integrity during 2024.

The video-sharing site said more than two billion people in more than 50 countries were expected to go to the polls this year, and that its election centres would be used to point people to trusted information.

Concerns have been raised about the potential impact of social media on elections this year, with artificial intelligence fuelling new waves of misinformation and disinformation in the form of manipulated media and deepfakes.

TikTok said it would launch a Local Election Centre in the UK in early April, ahead of local elections in May, which had been created in partnership with fact-checking firm Logically Facts.

The online centre would provide users with verified voting information, including when, where and how people could vote, as well as links to resources from the Electoral Commission.

On TikTok, people would be directed to the centre through prompts on relevant election posts or searches.

The company said it was planning to introduce similar centres in other countries around the world, tailored to each election.

In the UK, TikTok said it would also produce a range of educational videos with Logically Facts, encouraging users to consider the information they consumed around elections.

These videos would be featured on the election centre.

In a blog post discussing the company’s approach to elections in 2024, TikTok said it was also already making specific efforts to combat AI-powered misinformation, and this would continue during elections.

“AI-generated content (AIGC) brings new challenges to our industry, which we’ve proactively addressed with firm rules and new technologies,” the company said.

“We don’t allow manipulated content that could be misleading, including AIGC of public figures if it depicts them endorsing a political view. We also require creators to label any realistic AIGC and launched a first-of-its-kind tool to help people do this.

“Alongside 20 other leading tech companies, we recently pledged to help prevent deceptive AI content from interfering with this year’s elections through proactive collaboration.

“As technology evolves in 2024, we’ll continue to improve our policies and detection while partnering with experts on media literacy content that helps our community navigate AI responsibly, including working with industry through content provenance partnerships.”