TikTok Updates Policies on Political Fundraising

TikTok said Wednesday that it’s changing how political and government entities can use their accounts on the platform. The social media company implemented new policies ahead of November’s midterm elections to clamp down on monetization and misinformation. 

In a blog post, TikTok said that starting Wednesday it’ll begin experimenting with mandatory account verification for governments, politicians and political parties. Up to this point, the verification badge has been optional. The company says it aims to ensure authenticity to build trust between its creators and community users.

Additionally, TikTok is taking steps to restrict political advertising on the app. In August, the social media platform said it would work directly with content creators to prevent them from sharing paid political posts. Now TikTok is expanding this policy by prohibiting holders of political accounts from accessing advertising and fundraising features.

According to the company, political groups and individual politicians will automatically be barred from using functions such as “gifting, tipping, and e-commerce, and will be ineligible for our Creator Fund.” Though TikTok has had a ban on political advertising since 2019, these accounts will essentially be unable to solicit, spend, give or receive funds on the app. 

In the coming weeks, the platform will roll out its new campaign fundraising policy, which specifically addresses the type of content that isn’t allowed. “That includes content such as a video from a politician asking for donations, or a political party directing people to a donation page on their website,” said TikTok. The company added that some exceptions can be made for government agencies needing to advertise public health or safety activities, such as COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

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