TikTok rolls out new rules to limit the reach of state-affiliated media accounts on its platform

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TikTok said Thursday its putting in place new rules to limit the reach of state-affiliated media accounts


NEW YORK (AP) — TikTok is putting in place new rules to limit the reach of state-affiliated media accounts that are attempting to exert influence abroad during a crucial election year.

The company, which started labeling state-affiliated media two years ago, announced in a statement Thursday that identified accounts attempting to “reach communities outside their home country on current global events and affairs” will not appear on the main feed where users watch videos.

TikTok also said in the coming weeks, state-affiliated media accounts that advertise on the platform will no longer be allowed to do that outside of their home country.

The new policy comes a few weeks after a study by the nonprofit Brookings Institution that said Russian state-affiliated accounts had boosted their use of the platform and were posting more messages in English and Spanish.

The spread of foreign propaganda is also a problem on other social media platforms, such as Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram, as well as Elon Musk’s X. However, TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has been at the center of a heated political debate, with many federal lawmakers and some administration officials arguing it poses a more serious national security threat and could potentially operate at the whims of China's government.

TikTok has repeatedly denied these claims, and is currently suing the federal government over the new law that would force it to break ties with its parent company to keep operating in the U.S. ByteDance is also a plaintiff in that lawsuit.

The short-form video platform added Thursday it will be releasing regular updates on what it's doing to fight back against covert influence operations on its platform. In the first four months of this year, TikTok said it disrupted 15 such operations, including one that targeted audiences in Indonesia ahead of the country’s presidential elections earlier this year.

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