TikTok launches a U.S. elections guide in its app – ClearTips
Although Tiktok is in the midst of the Trump administration’s attempt to ban its app in the US over data privacy concerns, the company is launching a new feature focused on the 2020 US elections today. TikTok announced this morning that it is offering an in-app guide to the elections, offering its 100 million US users information about candidates, information on how to vote and misinformation, media literacy, elections Provides educational videos about the process and more.
However, the company is not producing this material. It is excluding partner organizations, including the National Association of Secretaries of State, BallotReady, Signvote, and many more.
BallotReady, for example, would power an election guide with detailed information about candidates at the federal, state and local levels in both English and Spanish. Details about how to vote in each state are given by the National Association of Secretary of State. Media Wise will provide incorrect videos and educational videos about the election process as well as how to vote.
Tiktok says that this effort will also include resources for voters under various circumstances. This includes information about voting as a person with disabilities from a signvote; As someone abroad through the federal voting assistance program; As a student with the help of the Campus Vote Project; And as a person with previous beliefs, restore with the help of your vote.
Tiktok will launch this election guide in the US from today, where it will be accessible both on the Tiktok Discover page and on search results related to the election. It will also verify the guide at the bottom of the video related to the election and in the video posted by verified political candidates, it says.
The company presupposes that it only verifies accounts to reflect the authenticity of account ownership, but the verified badge does not indicate the endorsement of TickTalk. (What it means to be verified on social networks is a problem on Twitter for years, as it has removed its iconic verified badges to controversial figures like white nationalists.)
Although Tiktok is working with established partners to put together its electoral guide, the company’s sole task of somehow engaging itself in American politics is a fairly bold choice from the company. As users interact with the new election guide, they can share additional clues about their political leanings.
In theory, these signs can be used to tweak their personal recommendations, such as the example shown on TickTalk’s For You page. But TikTok can also store this signal data for future use with the user’s TikTok account. All of this is no different in that Facebook is able to identify your inclination by parsing your profile information or pages you’ve liked.
However, Tiktok says that it will not collect any user’s personal information with the launch of the guide, nor will it use hints to optimize your experience.
The company said in an announcement, “… a user must visit the website for the state or be non-profit for anything, including sharing their information, including registering to vote.” “Interaction with this guide in our app has no effect on future Tiktok experiences, such as recommendations or advertisements.”
Despite controversies over the ownership of TikTok, TikTok is joining several social networks offering voter guides or running “Vote-Out” campaigns in their app.
Facebook rolled out polling resources for US users this August, and Twitter launched its election hub earlier this month. Snapchat said it helped 400,000 people register to vote. Meanwhile, YouTube recently began adding misinformation about mail-in voting to combat misinformation and also offered some features that encourage users to register to vote.
Even Tinder is running a promotion in the US to promote voter registration through the use of in-app cards that direct users to online resources.
However, TikTok’s voter registration effort can be impressive due to its young, Gen Z user base. For decades, young voters appear unsuccessful in elections. And every election year, the report wonders if this year will be any different.
But TikTok users, in particular, have been politically motivated in recent months. Some helped to advance the Trump campaign by registering for tickets to Trump’s Tulsa rally, which he did not intend to use. He also trolled the official Trump campaign app for the fact that he finally had to reset his App Store rating. And many went on to app to troll their parents’ political choice.
The extent to which young users of Tiktok will transition from armchair activists to real-world voters – if they are of age – remains to be seen. And though news coverage has focused on the left-leaning TicketRocker, the app can easily direct you to the pro-Trump bubble where you’ll find MAGA-hat-sporting teens.
Like the rest of America, Tiktok’s teenagers have their own political divisions. This means that even if TikTok is successful in increasing young voter turnout, there is no reason to believe that it will necessarily help in one way or another.