TikTok takes down a whole lot of Australian movies in misinformation crackdown | TikTok
False claims about Covid vaccines – including the fact that the Australian Prime Minister pretended to have received his bump – were among the hundreds of Australian videos that TikTok removed from its platform as part of a misinformation operation.
In February, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, Apple, Adobe, and TikTok signed a new voluntary industry code aimed at tackling misinformation and disinformation online.
On Saturday, the organization that represents the companies, Digi, released the first annual reports on how the tech giants are implementing the Code’s commitments.
In the TikTok social video platform report, the company revealed that between October 2020 and March 2021 it had removed 651 videos mentioning Covid-19 or coronavirus for violating the company’s misinformation policy. Another 222 videos were removed to post medical misinformation.
False claims included Prime Minister Scott Morrison “faking” the Pfizer vaccination when it was clear he received the shot; a false claim that Health Secretary Greg Hunt’s diagnosis of cellulite was due to receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine; and a false claim that the AstraZeneca vaccine caused “serious side effects” to “80%” of Australian Navy members.
TikTok is working with Agence France-Presse (AFP) to review the information provided about Covid-19 and will forward that verified information to the company’s moderators.
A Covid-19 information label was also added to nearly 20,000 Australian videos during this time, directing users to health sources. In cases where a video’s claims have been verified but not yet substantiated, users will receive a pop-up warning suggesting not to share the video.
Twitter reported that between July and December last year, actions were taken against them on 3.5 million accounts worldwide to break the rules, including 1 million blocked accounts. A total of 4.5 million tweets, banners or avatars were removed for violating the rules. Specifically due to Covid misinformation, 3,400 accounts have been seized against them, including 600 suspensions, and 3,900 tweets, banners or avatars have been removed.
Accounts that violate the company’s election integrity policy have had 6,500 actions taken against them, of which 50 have been suspended. A total of 8,100 tweets, banners or avatars were removed.
In Australia in particular, 37,000 Twitter accounts have been violated the rules, including 7,200 suspensions. A total of 47,000 tweets, banners or avatars were removed from Australian accounts.
Just over 50 had taken action for violating the Covid-19 misinformation policy, and fewer than 10 were suspended. Only 50 tweets were removed. Election Integrity Policy Violations have been taken in over 40 Australian accounts and 70 tweets, banners or avatars have been removed as part of that policy.
Redbubble, the Australian marketplace where users can create their own goods, saw sales of goods with anti-Vax tags soar, peaking over $ 15,000 in mid-2020.
The company said it had removed 81 Australian-made products that violated its harmful misinformation policy, including items labeled “Plandemic”, “David Icke” and various anti-vaccination tags.
On Friday, Facebook said it removed more than 110,000 Covid-related misinformation generated by Australian accounts in the first year of the pandemic.