TikTok fails to weed out misleading ads: Report

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TikTok fails to weed out misleading ads: Report
TikTok fails to weed out misleading ads: Report

Africa-Press – Eritrea. TikTok “performed worst” in detecting the misleading advertisements it received, a report by a non-profit organization said on Tuesday.

Global Witness sent 16 ads related to European Parliament (EP) elections to social media platforms YouTube, X and TikTok to test their approach to disinformation. New EU rules require platforms to mitigate such content.

The fake ads, created by the NGO for experimental purposes, contained false claims about voting methods and age eligibility and intended to influence the outcome of the vote ahead of EP elections.

While TikTok approved all 16 ads within 24 hours, YouTube rejected 14 out of 16, and X rejected all, raising concerns about TikTok’s compliance with EU disinformation regulations.

TikTok stated that while their systems correctly flagged the ads for policy violations, a human moderator mistakenly approved them. The moderator has since undergone retraining, it noted.

Henry Peck, senior campaigner at Global Witness, emphasized the importance of protecting democratic processes, especially given TikTok’s significant young user base. He said: “No platform must allow the derailing of democratic participation.”

Global Witness said it plans to file a complaint with the EU regulator, highlighting TikTok’s shortcomings and urging swift action to ensure adherence to the Digital Services Act. The act, effective since February, mandates social media platforms to mitigate risks to elections.

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