19 May 2024

The TikTok short video platform has announced that it will not allow political parties, politicians or paying advertisers to use it for political campaigning ahead of Thailand’s general election, tentatively scheduled for early May.

TikTok’s management said yesterday (Tuesday) that the ban is intended to prevent distortion of facts and the spread of fake news pertaining to the election, hate speech, extreme ideologies, to maintain TikTok’s integrity and to ensure the presentation of accurate and credible information in the lead-up to the election.

Jirapat Lee, head of platform policy at TikTok in Thailand, told the media that political advertisements amount to the use of money to promote political parties, which is prohibited on the TikTok platform, adding that accounts taking a political position will be included in the government, politician and political account (GPPPA) category.

He said, however, that political parties can use the TikTok platform’s GPPPA category to publicise their policies for educational purposes or public information.

The management said that TikTok Thailand has put in place tools and measures to check the content loaded onto its platform. One tool is the use of artificial intelligence and another is the use of Thai and foreign experts to check the content, as to whether it goes against the community’s guidelines.

Content which fails to meet the guidelines will be deleted or the poster will be warned before it is uploaded on the platform. Users of the platform can press the “Election Report Button” if they find content which breaks the rules.

On top of that, the management said that an Election Centre will be set up to link to data from Thailand’s Election Commission. This will help users get access to information about the election, their election rights and basic information about political parties and candidates, they added.