TikTok to fight misinformation in the EU

The Chinese company pledges to follow a code of conduct adopted by the European Union. False information on the Ukraine war, often amplified by Chinese government media, is singled out. Twitter is the worst large social media platform in the fight against disinformation in Europe.


Brussels (AsiaNews) – TikTok, the well-known Chinese social media company, today pledged to tackle disinformation on its platform in line with a code of conduct recently adopted by the European Union.

EU authorities are closely monitoring fake news, especially from media and actors controlled by authoritarian states.

In a report published this month by the EU anti-disinformation unit, China and Russia are treated as the two primary sources of “foreign information manipulation and interference.”

The study notes that, “Chinese state-controlled media and official social media channels have amplified selected pro-Kremlin conspiracy narratives, for example on alleged U.S. military biolabs in Ukraine.”

In a progress report on its action to meet European anti-disinformation legislation, TikTok admitted that much work still needs to be done.

The Chinese company (owned by giant ByteDance) announced that in the coming months it will boost tools to label state-controlled media and ramp up its actions against disinformation related to the war in Ukraine.

It will also expand its fact-checking programme in Europe to cover more languages and increase the volume of claims it fact-checked.

This will also include advertising. The social media company said it had removed 191 ads made by political actors in the past six months.

Among online communication giants, TikTok is not the worst in the fight against disinformation. According to the European Commission, Twitter tops the list. Google, Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft have done better than Elon Musk’s recently acquired platform.

TikTok now expects more EU monitoring over its online content, Reuters reports, in order to ensure that it meets new EU regulations on large online platforms, i.e. those with more than 45 million users.

In 2020 TikTok stated that it had more than 100 million users in Europe. In the EU, violations can result in fines of as much as 6 per cent of a company's global turnover.