TikTok roles out new misinformation policies ahead of election

New policies come as Trump admin ramps up pressure on Chinese company

Social media giant TikTok is rolling out three new measures ahead of the U.S. election to combat misinformation and political interference on the platform.

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The Chinese-owned company, which has come under fire from President Trump recently over security concerns, is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security to counter foreign election interference.

“In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security established the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force as part of the National Risk Management Center within the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency," the company wrote in a blog post. "We're proud to work with the CFITF to help stop the threat and dangers of foreign influence on elections.”

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President Trump said Wednesday morning that Microsoft and other American companies have agreed to make a payment to the U.S. Treasury as part of any deal to purchase TikTok, though White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed that claim Tuesday. The President said he has given American companies until Sept. 15 to strike a deal with TikTok, or he will ban it from the United States.

TikTok said Wednesday it is also prohibiting videos known as “deepfakes,” which it describes as “synthetic or manipulated content that misleads users by distorting the truth of events in a way that could cause harm.”

Other social media companies, like Facebook and Twitter, banned deepfakes earlier this year. Google also prohibited deepfakes and other forms of misinformation last year.

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TikTok is expanding its partnerships with PolitiFact and Lead Stories to increase the fact-checking of critical information.

A TikTok spokesperson said that the company recognizes its platform isn’t the first place that people go for news or politics, and that they’re not trying to be, but they still have a responsibility to combat misinformation.

“TikTok is an entertainment platform that 100 million Americans use to express themselves creatively,” the spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “The reality is that misinformation, disinformation, and threats to civic engagement are challenges that no platform today can ignore. We're taking cues from what happened in the last U.S. presidential election to safeguard our platform and protect our users.”

TikTok is also facing the threat of a new competitor, as Instagram rolled out a feature called "Reels" Wednesday, which allows users to "record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools."

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