TikTok Aims to Squash Paid Political Influencers, Launches ‘Elections Center’

As we approach the midterm elections in November, TikTok is releasing new features and doubling down on the lessons gained from the 2020 Elections.

Influencers should be aware that paid political content and adverts are prohibited, according to the social media behemoth. In order to provide its young and politically engaged user base with political tools and information, the app is also developing an Elections Center.

As the midterm elections draw near, the company wants you to know how much it cares about U.S. elections. To that end, the company just established an information center for TikTok users. The Elections Center connects visitors to information and resources they might need for voting by providing content produced by national groups.

For instance, students can network through the Campus Vote Project, and deaf users can discover information on voting from the Center For Democracy in Deaf America. In a press release from TikTok, Mike Burns, the National Director of the Campus Vote Project, said:

We saw historic youth and student voter turnout in the 2018 and 2020 elections. We have also seen the astounding growth of TikTok over that same time. Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project is excited to work with TikTok again this year to provide young people and students the information they need to navigate registering and voting, perhaps for the first time. Particularly on a platform they are already using to connect about the things that are important to them and their peers.

In response to a democratic system that some feel is failing them and their prospects, Gen Z is continuing to become more politically engaged. Additionally, Gen Z is undoubtedly the most active generation on TikTok: according to the Pew Research Center, 67% of 13 to 17-year-olds reported using the app at some point, and 16% said they use it practically frequently.

However, TikTok’s political influence is actually a little unsettling. While the Elections Center is an intriguing stance the firm can take to inform its audience, there are troubling patterns that are pervasive on the platform, such as the blatantly misogynistic writings of producers like Andrew Tate. On the other hand, the app states that political influencer content that is paid for is not permitted.

Another chance to consider what function, if any, social media platforms ought to play in the political process is provided by TikTok’s new Elections Center. We are all aware that Facebook has repeatedly gotten into trouble for how it has handled political content.

The original social network also revealed this week’s initiatives to improve site security and integrity before the midterm elections. In contrast, Snapchat unveiled its Run for Office feature last year to aid Generation Z in getting on the ballot. But should political motivation come from the apps that include trending dance challenges and rainbow puking filters?


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