Concerns prompt TikTok to restrict state-backed media

TikTok Implements Restrictions on State-Backed Media to Counter Foreign Influence

In a move to address concerns of foreign influence during important election years in multiple countries, TikTok announced restrictions on state-backed media on its platform. This decision comes after the United States urged TikTok to divest from its Chinese owners or face a potential ban in the US market.

Under the new policy, state-affiliated media will be prohibited from appearing on TikTok’s personalized “For You” feed if they are trying to reach communities outside their home country on global events and affairs. Additionally, these accounts will not be allowed to advertise outside of their primary affiliated country. TikTok defines state-affiliated media as those subject to government control or influence.

In the first four months of 2024, TikTok disclosed that it had identified and disrupted 15 influence operations and 3,001 associated accounts. These networks were reportedly aiming to influence political discourse, including election-related discussions. Examples cited by TikTok include disrupting a network targeting Indonesians ahead of their presidential elections and amplifying narratives about domestic political discourse in Britain.

The platform is taking these steps to prevent any manipulation or interference in political matters on its platform, especially during critical election periods.

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