TikTok, Facebook OK’d Ads With Misinformation About Voting: Report

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Politics

Social media platforms Facebook and TikTok failed at enforcing their policies despite each being hit with ads containing “blatant” misinformation about the 2022 midterm elections, a new report found.The report, which stems from an investigation by watchdog Global Witness and New York University’s Cybersecurity for Democracy (C4D) team, describes researchers’ efforts to post 20 ads with misinformation to Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.AdvertisementThe ads were in both English and Spanish language and targeted multiple battleground states in the midterms such as Arizona, Colorado and Georgia.The ads, which the groups said were deleted after the platforms informed them if they were accepted, reportedly featured several inaccurate claims such as claims about extended voting days and primary votes counting in the midterms.TikTok OK’d those ads, the report said, but would not let a Facebook-approved ad about mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for voters slide.TikTok – owned by Chinese company ByteDance – fared the worst in the researchers’ investigation, the report said, as the platform approved 90% of ads with disinformation.AdvertisementThe platform’s reported failure in the research comes three years after a ban on political ads in the app.A TikTok spokesperson, in a statement to the groups, claimed the platform prohibits and removes election misinformation along with paid political advertising from the app.“We value feedback from [non-governmental organizations], academics, and other experts which helps us continually strengthen our processes and policies,” the spokesperson said.Meta’s Facebook platform approved a “significant” number of the ads, 30% in English and 20% in Spanish during one test and 20% in English along with 50% in Spanish during another, the report said.AdvertisementA Meta spokesperson told the groups that their report was based on a very small sample size and doesn’t represent the political ads the company reviews daily and around the world. They wrote that the platform’s ad review process goes through several layers of analysis and detection, as well.“We invest significant resources to protect elections, from our industry-leading transparency efforts to our enforcement of strict protocols on ads abo …

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