By Steve de Eyre, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, TikTok Canada
TikTok is a community of users who value authenticity. As Canada embarks on a federal election, we’re ensuring that our users are presented with authentic, verified information about the election, including when, where, and how they can vote. That’s why today we are excited to launch our in-app Election Guide for Canada’s 44th general election.
Working with Elections Canada, we’ve developed TikTok Canada's Election Guide to direct users to authoritative information, in French and English, on how to register to vote, find their electoral district, and the different options available for how to cast their vote.
The Election Guide also provides information on special measures in place this year to ensure the health and safety of voters during COVID-19, and details about the safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of Canada’s voting process.
Our Election Guide is built with user privacy in mind, so a user must visit Elections Canada’s website for anything that involves sharing their information, including registering to vote. Interactions with the guide in our app has no bearing on future TikTok experiences, such as recommendations or ads.
The Election Guide can be accessed from our Discover page and on election-related search results. We'll also be linking to the guide at the bottom of videos relating to the election and on videos from verified political accounts. TikTok verifies accounts to indicate the authenticity of an account's owner, but a verified badge does not imply an endorsement by TikTok. We expect everyone – verified or not – to follow our Community Guidelines which apply to everyone who uses TikTok and all the content they post.
Our Committment to Electoral Integrity
TikTok isn't the go-to app for breaking news or politics, and we don't accept paid political ads on our app. Still, we know TikTok is a place where Canadians express themselves – and with that in mind, our goal is to keep TikTok a place where authentic content can thrive, and our Election Guide reflects our ongoing efforts to protect the integrity of our platform and Canada’s elections.
This year TikTok Canada was proud to endorse the Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online, where alongside the Government of Canada we committed to working together to ensure principles of integrity, transparency and authenticity are in place to support healthy and safe democratic debate and expression online. Building upon TikTok's successful efforts to secure our platform during the 2020 US election, we have implemented numerous measures to combat misinformation, disinformation, and other content that may be designed to disrupt Canada's election.
Our misleading content policies prohibit misinformation, disinformation, and manipulated media. For instance, we remove content that seeks to intimidate voters or suppress voting, and we do not tolerate content or accounts that seek to incite violence. We work closely with fact-checking partners – who are on expedited call during this sensitive time – to assess the accuracy of content so we can quickly remove false or manipulated videos.
We're committed to being transparent about how we execute our policies and safeguard our platform. With our Transparency and Accountability Centre now available for virtual tours, along with the release of regular Transparency Reports and our new Transparency webpage, we aim to give users, lawmakers, and experts unprecedented insight into how we work to keep TikTok safe and secure.
Misinformation, disinformation, and threats to civic engagement are challenges no platform can ignore. By working together as an industry with government, experts, and civil society organizations, we can better protect the civic processes that are so essential to our users. We'll continue to share updates and keep our community updated along the way.