Mozilla Tiktokzakrzewski Washingtonpost: TikTok’s advertising policy has updated policies on political advertising, which includes controversial topics such as gun rights and abortion.
The new rules prohibit any user from being compensated for promoting any “controversial issue,” including politics or “controversial social issues.” Nowhere in TikTok’s Advertising Policy did the parent company specify how their guidelines would be enforced. This led to questions about how they were going to identify and penalize violators without relying on a reporting system. A recently released internal report, however, revealed that several TikTok influencers were paid to promote political messages on the platform.
A few major social media platforms have banned or limited advertising from “controversial issues” because they believe it will lead to increased advertiser boycotts of their services. This is not the case with TikTok. The company sued rival musical app Musical.ly after it was acquired by Bytedance and changed its name to TikTok.
TikTok is taking paid influencer activity on the platform very seriously. One of the two main categories they listed in the report was influencers being paid to post political messages. Most of the influencers were banned, while others had their accounts terminated. They are also investigating whether these banished accounts may have abused TikTok’s promotion feature to increase reach and ultimately make more money. As a result of this investigation, TikTok says it will punish abuse of its promotion feature. The company is also aware of influencers who have used paid services, like SNS and networks, to boost their numbers, which is clearly prohibited.
As the report stated, it’s possible that some of the banned accounts didn’t have a political intent when posting content and simply were working for someone else in exchange for money. That’s why these practices need to be further investigated and addressed as there’s more than one way you can generate money from social media platforms.