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TikTok & Facebook Ads Still Spreading Misinformation

Remember a couple of months ago when TikTok said they were rolling out a political fundraising campaign ban? Many U.S policymakers voiced concerns about the mounting volume of political misinformation on the app.

Read More: TikTok Is Cracking Down On Political Campaigns

For TikTok, it looks like those concerns went in one ear and out the other. The mega-popular platform is still approving ads that contain political misinformation, and they aren’t alone in this. Facebook has been accused of the same posting practices. Making both social platforms in the position of violating ad policies.

The Report That Revealed It All

TikTok was already under the microscope for promoting political misinformation, and we all know Facebook’s history with fake news. So it’s no surprise researchers caught them red-handed.

The Cybersecurity for Democracy (C4D) team at NYU alongside Global Witness Group have been keeping tabs on TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube. They published a report looking at the platforms “ability to detect and remove election disinformation in the run-up to the US midterm elections.”

Read More: TikTok Announces New Program For Ads

Content Manager Andrew Hutchinson says “in order to test the ad approval processes for each platform, the researchers submitted 20 ads each, via dummy accounts, to YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.”

Inaccurate information about voting, specifically how to vote and inaccurate voting procedures like voting by mail, were all present in the ads submitted, the report summary states.

Here are the main findings of the report:

  1. Facebook endorsed two of the deceptive English ads and five of the Spanish ads.

  2. All advertisements were approved by TikTok, with the exception of two (one in English and one in Spanish)

  3. All advertisements on YouTube were disabled.

Based on these findings, Facebook and TikTok should have some responses to make.

How TikTok and Facebook Responded To Accusations

Now that this report has everyone’s attention, Facebook’s response appears to be trying to assure users that misinformation is not welcome on the app.

Content Manager Andrew Hutchinson notes Meta’s response to the report below:

“These reports were based on a very small sample of ads. They aren’t representative given the number of political ads we review daily across the world. Our ads review process has several layers of analysis and detection, both before and after an ad goes live. We invest significant resources to protect elections, from our industry-leading transparency efforts to our enforcement of strict protocols on ads about social issues, elections, or politics – and we will continue to do so.”

TikTok seems to have acknowledged the feedback and says that it should help with their misinformation policies.

Regardless YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok have some changes to make. This recent data, namely for TikTok might increase worries about how the platform might be used for political influence. Additionally, it can raise more concerns about any possible links to the Chinese government.

#inthenews #Meta #socialmedia #TikTokads