We are less than two months away from the midterm elections, and the American public is being flooded with political ads. It is a tool long used by politicians to try and earn votes. But one place attempting to escape the election noise is social media platform TikTok.
Tiktok is reinforcing their ban on paid political ads ahead of November. This means they don’t allow users to pay money for their posts to be seen if it is related to promoting or opposing a political party, candidate, or political issue. Starting this week, accounts belonging to politicians will have the advertising feature turned off completely and will have no means of monetization directly from the platform.
Other changes to their policy on political advertisements that will take effect in the coming weeks include a ban on promoting posts that ask for campaign donations or posts directing users to a campaign fundraising page. There will be mandatory verification on all government and politician accounts.
“Verification lets our community know an account is authentic and belongs to the user it represents, which is a way to build trust between high-profile creators and their community,” TikTok said in a press release on its updated policy. While many political accounts have added the verified badge to their profile already, doing so is currently optional. Starting Thursday in the U.S., there will be mandatory verification for accounts belonging to governments, politicians, and political parties through the midterm elections.
TikTok said in their updated ads policy the reason for their decisions to limit advertising space is to keep the platform as a creative space meant for inclusive entertainment, not politics.
“As we have set out before, we want to continue to develop policies that foster and promote a positive environment that brings people together, not divide them,” the press release said. “We do that currently by working to keep harmful misinformation off the platform, prohibiting political advertising, and connecting our community with authoritative information about elections. Today, we are building on that approach by making a series of changes to government, politician, and political party accounts that we believe will help ensure TikTok remains a fun, positive and joyful experience.”