MANILA, Philippines – TikTok has partnered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and GMA News and Public Affairs to provide authoritative election information, part of its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation on the platform in the leadup to the 2022 elections.
Since 2021, TikTok had already been working with Comelec for the #RightInformationThisElection campaign, which provided users with information on the elections, such as voting procedures. It has extended its partnership with Comelec through a dedicated on-platform election microsite.
Apart from the removal of violative content, TikTok said in a press release, the 2022 Philippine Election Guide banner on the Discover page will contain a repository of videos by the verified Comelec TikTok account that will give Filipinos information they need to participate in the elections. This is the first Philippine national election that will be held during a pandemic.
On March 1, GMA also launched the #eLeksyonSerye campaign, a series that includes an interactive Online E-Leksyon Quiz that will help people test their knowledge on voter rights and responsibilities, as well as the country’s political system. GMA figures will ask viewers multiple-choice questions, and their final score at the end of the quiz may measure their readiness to participate in the elections.
TikTok said it is also not accepting political advertising, similar to Google and Twitter. But this policy is vulnerable to loopholes. Influencers on Tiktok have been promoting potential candidates, with some even spouting false and misleading information.
Various sectors have been pushing for a crackdown on disinformation that proliferates on social media platforms YouTube and TikTok, asking them to collaborate with fact-checkers and be transparent on their policies for flagging false content, among others.
False information about Martial Law and the family of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos abound on YouTube and Tiktok. Marcos’ son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is the front runner in the presidential race for 2022.
TikTok has partnered with Agence France-Presse (AFP) to help verify harmful misinformation that should be removed from the platform. However, Rappler earlier found that some videos already tagged as misleading by AFP still remained on the platform and could still be shared without any prompts.
Rappler has fact-checked several TikTok videos on these topics. Some of them have gained thousands and even millions of views and some have been reposted on other platforms. Read some of our debunks on these here:
- HINDI TOTOO: Nakuha ni Marcos Sr. ang pinakamataas na marka sa kasaysayan ng bar exam sa Pilipinas
- FALSE: Nostradamus predicts Bongbong Marcos will lead Philippines in 2022
- HINDI TOTOO: Si Ferdinand Marcos ang pinakamayamang tao sa mundo
- FALSE: Comelec releases voter preference results all favoring Marcos Jr.
- HINDI TOTOO: Nangungunang rice granary ang Filipinas noong panahon ni Marcos
During the 2020 US elections, TikTok also launched an election guide that directs users to voter registration pages and access to election information. It partnered with MediaWise at the Poynter Institute to produce a series of videos aiming to teach first-time voters how to identify fact from fiction online. (READ: TikTok launches US election guide to battle misinformation)
As of September 2021, TikTok had over one billion active users worldwide. – Rappler.com