As intelligent as they are known to be, human beings have failed rather sensationally at not making mistakes. This is pretty evident across our history, with each representation practically forcing us to look for a defensive cover. To the world’s credit, we will soon that exact cover by bringing dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. You see, having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed a lot of our shortcomings around the stated context. Nevertheless, the whole utopia dissipated into thin air before anyone could even realize, and if we are being honest, it was all technology’s fault. We say that because the moment technology allowed its layered nature to take over the scene, it gave people an unprecedented shot at exploiting others for their own benefit, while also having to face no consequences whatsoever for doing so. Now, the scale on which this started to happen will soon overwhelm our governing forces, thus sending us back to square one. Fortunately, though, the wheels are going to roll again, and once they do, they’ll get the regulatory industry back into the game. The traces of this comeback have, in fact, grown more and more apparent over the recent past, and TikTok’s latest move does a lot to further the stated trend.
In the light of the approaching midterm elections, TikTok is officially set to re-launch its Election Center, which, as we know, will be purposed around reducing misinformation. Available in over 40 different languages, the center will let users gain state-by-state election information, including details on how to register to vote, how to vote by mail, how to find your polling place and more. While the said information will be provided by TikTok partner NASS (the National Association of Secretaries of State), the social media giant has also partnered with Ballotpedia to help people in learning about who is on their ballot. Beyond these notable collaborations, TikTok is working alongside various other assistance programs like the Center for Democracy in Deaf America – for deaf voters, the Federal Voting Assistance Program – overseas voting, the Campus Vote Project – students, and Restore Your Vote – people with past convictions – to provide content that will be tailored as per the needs of specific groups.
While a lot is similar to how the feature was presented during the 2020 elections, there are some changes that need a mention. For instance, TikTok made the Election Center available six weeks earlier than it did in 2020, thus giving the voters enough time to make an informed decision. Furthermore, the company is making much greater efforts towards educating the creator community in regards to its rules for the election content. This will be done through a host of methods, including the launch of an educational series on the Creator Portal and TikTok, and briefings with both creators and agencies to better understand the picture.
Interestingly enough, TikTok will use both automated technology, and a Trust and Safety team to facilitate efficient moderation. TikTok’s new partner, Oracle will also have a part to play here, as it will be responsible for auditing the platform’s moderation policies and algorithmic recommendation systems.
“As part of Oracle’s work, they will be regularly vetting and validating both our recommendation and our moderation models,” said TikTok’s head of U.S. Safety, Eric Han. “What that means is there’ll be regular audits of our content moderation processes, both from automated systems…technology — and how do we detect and triage certain things — as well as the content that is moderated and reviewed by humans,”