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TikTok rolls out its ‘state-controlled media’ label to 40 more countries TechCrunch

TikTok today announced it is expanding its “state-controlled media” label to more than 40 other global markets, to warn users when videos they see on the app are published by entities whose “editorial output or decision-making process” is influenced by a government , the company said Wednesday. The pilot initially began last year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine by labeling state-controlled media outlets in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. When tapped, the label provides the user with more information about what the label means and why it is being applied.

Since its launch, accounts have been managed by Russian media organizations such as RT, Ruptly, Sputnik, RIA Novosti, TASS and dozens others added the label to their videos.

The Beijing-based video entertainment app is not moving forward with this implementation of the state-controlled media label. Anyway, it’s delayed. TikTok colleagues have been offering a similar system for labeling state-run media for years. YouTube, for example, said in 2018 that it would start label state-funded broadcastersand last year blocked Russian state channels of monetization through advertising dollars in addition Facebook. Meta has also labeled state-controlled media on its platform since 2020. And before the Elon Musk acquisition, Twitter’s policy since 2020 had also been to label state media. (Recently, Musk jokes about the label, so it’s unclear if the policy will shift.)

In the case of TikTok, the company says it evaluates an operation’s editorial independence by considering its mission statement, editorial practices and safeguards, leadership and editorial governance, and actual editorial decisions. It also provides an appeal process if an entity believes they have been unfairly labeled by the trust and security team.

The company said it worked with several experts prior to the pilot program, including consultations with more than 60 media experts, political scientists, academics and members of various international and civil society organizations around the world.

However, TikTok’s handling of misinformation about the Russian invasion of Ukraine has not been fully effective.

The company said in March it would halt new content originally posted in Russia in response to the country’s new “fake news” law on the invasion, but continued to allow several prominent Russian state media accounts to post. .

And only now is the label reaching high-profile markets, such as the US, Canada, parts of Europe, China and others.

TikTok has confirmed to TechCrunch that the label is now rolling out to the following countries:

Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan.

The expansion comes amid a renewed crackdown on the short video app in the US, which former President Donald Trump had originally tried to ban in 2020 over national security threats, but the ban was stopped by the courts and later, the Biden administration.

But in recent weeks, a number of US states and the U.S. House have now banned TikTok from government-issued devices, citing growing security concerns over TikTok sharing data with the Chinese government. Forbes also accused the company spying on its journalists and, last year, BuzzFeed, reported that TikTok staff in China had access to US user data, prompting TikTok to move the data to Oracle servers in the US

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