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How TikTok Is Combatting Misleading Content Ahead of the European Elections

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TikTok is launching an in-app Election Center to mitigate the spread of online misinformation during the 2024 European Parliament elections.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, Kevin Morgan, Head of Safety and Integrity for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said the ByteDance-owned social media platform will host local language centers for each of the 27 E.U. countries to help viewers “separate fact from fiction.”

The tool is set to be available for TikTok’s 134 million monthly European users to access in March, ahead of the bloc taking to the polls in early June. The centers will aim to inform European voters about the elections, and videos linked to the electoral process will be clearly signposted and guide users to the relevant center. TikTok also noted that it has a team of 6,000 people working to moderate E.U. languages content.

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“Working with local electoral commissions and civil society organizations, these Election Centers will be a place where our community can find trusted and authoritative information,” Morgan said. “This initiative is just one element of a wider strategy to ensure that TikTok remains a creative, safe, and civil place for our community during the election period.”

The election centers build upon efforts started in 2021, and continued last year, where similar hubs were established for national elections in Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain.

Morgan’s statement also reinforced its priorities for the election period, from countering misinformation, fact-checking, and investing in media literacy. It also announced that it will issue covert influence operations reports to increase transparency and limit deceptive actors trying to sway public opinion. 

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TikTok also addressed the steps it takes to ensure AI-generated content does not further the spread of misinformation. “We also require creators to label any realistic AIGC and recently launched a first-of-its-kind tool to help people do this,” Morgan said. 

On Feb. 6, Meta announced its own labels for AI-generated content shared to Instagram, Facebook, and threads during the largest global election year in history. ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI announced that it would also begin marking fake imagery generated by its artificial intelligence image generator DALL-E 3. 

These measures were announced just days after the European Commission launched the E.U.’s  new Digital Services Act (DSA). The new guidelines aim to mitigate online risk ahead of June’s election and, as of Feb. 17, will apply to all social media platforms

Addressing lawmakers in Strasbourg last week, E.U. Internal Market commissioner Thierry Breton said that social media platforms share the responsibility to mitigate the role misinformation could play in election processes. 

"We know that this electoral period that's opening up in the European Union is going to be targeted either via hybrid attacks or foreign interference of all kinds," Breton said. "We can't have half-baked measures."

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Write to Armani Syed at armani.syed@time.com