By Brent Thomas, Global Public Policy Director AUNZ
The 2022 Australian federal election represented the first national political race which took place with TikTok operating in-market.
We are committed to being transparent about how we keep our platform safe, because it helps to build trust and understanding with our community - and that is why we are today releasing further information about our efforts to protect our community.
These new figures show how we helped direct people to authoritative information, and helped to safeguard our community over the course of the Australian federal election.
TikTok isn't the go-to app for breaking news or politics, and we don't accept paid political ads on our app, but we know TikTok is a home where Australians express themselves. With that in mind, we were, and continue to be, focused on supporting our community with education and authoritative information on important public issues.
Supporting the Australian Electoral Commission and the Election Guide
By working with the Australian Election Commission and taking lessons from previous Australian state-level elections, as well as lessons learned abroad, we were able to work proactively to both safeguard our community, our platform, and protect the integrity of the Australian federal election.
This collaborative approach, with the support of the Australian Electoral Commission led to:
- The co-operative development of the in-app Election Guide and Public Service Announcements that were attached to election-related content;
- Establishment of direct communication channels, allowing the Commission to escalate any queries and concerns they may have had directly with relevant TikTok representatives in Australia.
The Election Guide promoted the importance of being enrolled to vote and provided authoritative information on the election process, from where to vote and the ways to vote. Through a combination of 70,712 in-app banners that were placed on election-related content, as well as search re-directs, the Australian Election Guide was visited 91,905 times by our community.
In order to ensure that our users were directed to the Election Guide, as well as helping them to verify facts and report content, we added Public Service Announcements to election-related hashtags. These PSAs were viewed more than 488,312,860 times.
Bolstered Fact-Checking and Strengthened Reporting
Our Community Guidelines prohibit harmful misinformation including content which is inauthentic, or designed to mislead our community about elections.
To bolster our fact-checking efforts ahead of the federal election and make sure content was in line with those guidelines, we partnered with Australian Associated Press in addition to our existing partnership with Agence France-Presse.
These partnerships strengthened our ability to identify and remove content that breached our Community Guidelines, helping to keep our community safe from harm.
In addition to this increased and localised fact-checking resources, TikTok made it even simpler for users to report misleading content directly through our app, with a specific election misinformation reporting button available to our community.
Safeguarding Our Community and the Australian Federal Election
We are grateful for the support of our partners, including the Australian Election Commission and our fact-checkers, in helping to safeguard our community over this election period.
It is only through strong, positive, and proactive collaboration that we are able to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community.
We know this is not a job done, and we will continue to invest in this space, taking forward the lessons we have learnt from this election to build a safe, creative space where our community can express themselves.