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TikTok limits state-affiliated media in key election year

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 23 May 2024, 11:02 PM
Tan KW
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TikTok is moving to limit the reach of state-affiliated media accounts, the company said Thursday, in a continuing effort to counter foreign influence during a key election year.

In a statement, the social network said accounts “that attempt to reach communities outside their home country on current global events and affairs” will not appear in users’ personalised feeds. State-affiliated media accounts will also be blocked from advertising on the app outside of their home countries.

TikTok began experimenting with labelling state-affiliated accounts two years ago, and in 2023 expanded that practice to more than 40 countries.

These curbs do not prevent people from viewing state-affiliated accounts on TikTok. Users could still find that content by searching for it within the app, for example, or if a contact shares a link to it.

TikTok faces heightened scrutiny after President Joe Biden signed legislation that could ban the app unless its Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd, agrees to sell it. The US government has cited national security concerns around personal data and China’s political influence.

TikTok said it disrupted 16 accounts in February that were promoting Chinese policy to a targeted US audience. The company has pledged to disclose new data about disrupted covert influence operations “on a more regular basis”.


  - Bloomberg


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