TikTok to teach influencers about US mid-term election rules

TikTok is taking extra measures to limit misinformation and violations of its policies ahead of the US mid-term elections.

The video platform has announced new steps to ensure influencers understand that paid political ads are prohibited.

Following 2020 US election the company admitted it needed to do more to ensure influencers followed its rules.

November's elections will see many governor, Senate and congressional contests.

Over the coming weeks TikTok said it would publish educational content and host briefings with influencers and advertising agencies "so the rules of the road are abundantly clear when it comes to paid content around elections".

It warned that if it discovered that political content was paid for and not properly disclosed, it would be "promptly removed from the platform".

TikTok says it has a longstanding policy to not allow paid political advertising,

Ellen Judson, head of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos said: "It's good to see that TikTok is acknowledging improvements can be made."

But, she said, "relying on educating influencers better about their rules is a poor substitute for systematically and proactively improving enforcement" and warned that "political actors will spot and exploit that gap".

However, TikTok's actions go beyond paid content. All posts, whether paid for or not, must also not violate its policies.

Election misinformation, harassment - including that directed towards election workers - hateful behaviour, and violent extremism are all banned, TikTok says.

Content may also be fact-checked and the company is taking steps to limit the spread of posts while that process is under way.