TikTok launches US Presidential Elections guide

Shanghai: The Chinese video-sharing app TikTok has launched an elections guide for United States’ 2020 Presidential Election, said TikTok’s head of US Public Policy Michael Beckerman.

The guide will give information to users about the presidential elections which, according to TikTok’s top management, will help against misinformation.

The company’s head of US Public Policy in his blog said that the guide would facilitate the users to access the information about federal, state and local candidates from BollotReady. It said that the elections guide would also be helpful about modus operandi of votes which is powered by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

The guide also includes educational videos about media literacy from digital literacy project MediaWise.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Chinese company ByteDance owned TikTop app has been under strict scrutiny from President Trump over concerns about its handling of users’ data.

According to the TikTok management, the app has not only around 100 million monthly active US users but the app is becoming a platform for political content. The management admitted that the app was facing the challenges misinformation which could be abused ahead of the US presidential election.

On Sunday, a US judge granted a stay on Trump administration’s order, wherein Apple and Google were barred from offering TikTok’s download.

Also Read: China introduces a mechanism to restrict foreign tech entities

Michael Beckerman in the blog post stated that the guide was developed with keeping in mind the user privacy.

According to Reuters, it found videos containing misinformation about mail-in voting and the candidates and most of which have been removed by the app after they were reported by Reuters.

Like the Covid-19 resource hub, the elections guide would also be accessible from the app’s discover page.

The verification of TikTok accounts only indicates about the authenticity of the account holder. However, a verified badge is not an endorsement by TikTok. The blog post stated that the management expected everyone, either verified or not, to follow the community guidelines which were allocable to every user.

It said that the TikTok’s goal was to keep it a place where reliable content could increase, further maintaining that the elections guide reflected management’s ongoing efforts to not only protect the veracity of the platform but the US elections also.

It further said that the TikTok community was incredibly diverse so the guide was available in English, Spanish and dozens of languages. It said that the app contained information on voting as a differently-abled person with help from SignVote. It also contains a guideline for the vote of overseas citizens or service member through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The app also contains information on voting as a student with help from Campus Vote Project, and as a person with past convictions with help from Restore Your Vote.

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