TikTok expands labels for state media content

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

TikTok is expanding its program to label content posted by state-affiliated media to more countries, the company announced this week. 

The policy will label accounts “run by entities whose editorial output or decision-making process is subject to control or influence by a government,” Justin Erlich, TikTok’s global head of issue policy and partnerships, trust and safety, wrote in a blog post.

The video sharing app first piloted the program last year in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is expanding to more than 40 markets “across multiple regions,” Erlich wrote. 

To assess editorial independence, TikTok will consider an organization’s mission statement, editorial practices, leadership and “actual editorial decisions.”

Additional scrutiny will be applied to entities that “may be heavily reliant on state funding,” according to the blog post. 

Labeled accounts can appeal to TikTok by submitting additional information to indicate safeguards in place to ensure editorial independence.

The program expansion follows increased scrutiny from the U.S. federal government and states over accusations that the Chinese-owned app poses national security concerns.

TikTok has denied those accusations, but several states have put in place TikTok bans on government devices. Congress passed a similar ban on government devices as part of a federal funding bill in December.

Tags state media TikTok
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