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TikTok updates policies to ban deepfakes, expand fact-checks, and flag election misinfo

As uncertainty swirls around TikTok’s future in the U.S., the company this morning announced new Community Guidelines focused on helping keep misleading and deceptive content off its platform. The new rules aim to better clarify what’s allowed and not allowed on TikTok, broaden the app’s fact-checking partnerships ahead of the U.S. election, and ban the use of “deepfakes” (manipulated content) designed to deceive. In addition, TikTok has added an in-app reporting option for election misinformation. It also claims to have worked with experts, including the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force (CFITF), run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to help counter the threat of foreign influence on elections.
That latter item is a particularly clever spin on TikTok’s current situation, given that it’s the foreign interference of TikTok itself that the Trump Administration is concerned about, along with the potential security risk that comes from the possibility of China’s authoritarian government collecting massive amounts of data on TikTok’s American users.
TikTok, however, says it has worked with CFITF and other experts to help stop the dangers of foreign influence on U.S. elections. The task force shares insight about possible disinformation campaigns across the industry and connects local election officials with online platforms and law enforcement. TikTok didn’t clarify the extent of its work in this area, but CFITF has only existed since 2018 so these would be fairly recent efforts.
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