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TikTok sets restrictions for politicians ahead of the midterm elections

September 21, 2022, 2:55 PM UTC
Young woman films a TikTok video
Political accounts on TikTok are being saddled with new restrictions.

TikTok is trying to get a handle on politicians as we get into the heart of the 2022 election season.

The social media site has announced new rules for political accounts, ranging from individual candidates to political parties. Effective immediately, TikTok is requiring all government and political accounts to be verified, in hopes of getting a handle on misinformation.

“We don’t proactively encourage politicians or political parties to join TikTok, but we welcome those that have chosen to and want to ensure our community knows the source is authentic when watching that content,” Blake Chandlee, president of global business solutions at TikTok said in a blog post. “While many political accounts have added the verified badge to their profile already, doing so is currently optional. Starting today in the US, we’ll be trialing mandatory verification for accounts belonging to governments, politicians, and political parties through the midterm elections.”

TikTok is also taking steps to prevent the popular platform from becoming a money grab for politicians. While political ads have long been prohibited (both paid or user-created for compensation), the app has extended that rule to forbid campaign fundraising on TikTok.

Additionally, political accounts will not be able to access other monetization features, such as tipping, gifting, e-commerce and the company’s Creator Fund.

TikTok is first and foremost an entertainment platform, and we’re proud to be a place that brings people together over creative and entertaining content,” said Chandlee. By prohibiting campaign fundraising and limiting access to our monetization features and verifying accounts, we’re aiming to strike a balance between enabling people to discuss the issues that are relevant to their lives while also protecting the creative, entertaining platform that our community wants.”

The ban on campaign contributions, even on outside websites, will go into effect “in the coming weeks”. It will also prohibit videos that alert viewers to third-party sites where they can donate.

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