Tiktok has unveiled a host of new measures it is undertaking to fight misinformation ahead of the US 2020 presidential election, as the app tries to appease threats of a total ban.
Tiktok, which is under fire for its alleged links to the Chinese government via parent firm Bytedance, said it was working with experts from the US Department of Homeland Security to “protect against foreign influence” on the app.
Tiktok will allow users to report election-related misinformation via a tool inside the app, and is expanding its third-party fact-checking partnerships.
It comes as Bytedance continues to hold talks with Microsoft about a sale of its US operations in an effort to relieve pressure on the company.
US President Donald Trump has given the pair until 15 September to seal the deal, or he will ban the app citing national security concerns.
“While Tiktok isn’t the go-to app to follow news or politics, we’re focused on supporting our users with education and authoritative information on important public issues,” said Tiktok’s US general manager Vanessa Pappas.
“We always strive to be more transparent about our policies and content moderation, and today we’re updating these guidelines to better reflect the scope of our existing policies.”
Tiktok said it would not be accepting paid political ads in the run-up to the US election, “because the nature of paid political ads isn’t something we think fits with the experience our users expect on Tiktok”.
The presence of paid political ads on social media platforms has been a matter of debate, with Facebook saying it would impinge on freedom of speech to ban them.
Separately, Tiktok’s US arm is said to have been valued by Microsoft during the talks at anywhere between $10bn and $30bn.
CNBC reported the talks could finish within the next three weeks, ahead of schedule.