TECHNOLOGY

U.S. midterms bring few changes from social media companies

Aug 17, 2022, 10:28 AM
Bangkok. Thailand. March 1,2019 Facebook social media app logo on log-in, sign-up registration page...
Bangkok. Thailand. March 1,2019 Facebook social media app logo on log-in, sign-up registration page on mobile app screen on iPhone smart devices in business person's hand at work

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media companies are offering few specifics as they share their plans for safeguarding the U.S. midterm elections.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are generally staying the course from the 2020 voting season, which was marred by conspiracies and culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Video app TikTok, which has soared in popularity since the last election cycle while also cementing its place as a problem spot for misinformation, announced Wednesday it is launching an election center that will help people find voting locations and candidate information.

The center will show up on videos about U.S. elections and in the feeds of users who search election-related hashtags. TikTok is also partnering with voting advocacy groups to provide specialized voting information for college students, people who are deaf, military members living overseas and those with past criminal convictions.

TikTok, like other platforms, would not provide details on the number of full-time employees or how much money it is dedicating to U.S. midterm efforts, which aim to push accurate voting information and counter misinformation.

The company said it is working with over a dozen fact-checking organizations, including U.S.-based PolitiFact and Lead Stories, on debunking misinformation. TikTok declined to say how many videos have been fact-checked on its site. The company will use a combination of humans and artificial intelligence to detect and remove threats against election workers as well as voting misinformation.

TikTok said it’s also watching for influencers who break its rules by accepting money off platform to promote political issues or candidates, a problem that came to light during the 2020 election, said TikTok’s head of safety Eric Han. The company is trying to educate creators and agencies about its rules, which include bans on political advertising.

“With the work we do, there is no finish line,” Han said.

Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, announced Tuesday that its approach to this election cycle is “largely consistent with the policies and safeguards” from 2020.

“As we did in 2020, we have a dedicated team in place to combat election and voter interference while also helping people get reliable information about when and how to vote,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Meta declined to say how many people it has dedicated to its election team responsible for monitoring the midterms, only that it has “hundreds of people across more than 40 teams.”

As in 2020, Clegg wrote, the company will remove misinformation about election dates, voting locations, voter registration and election outcomes. For the first time, Meta said it will also show U.S. election-related notifications in languages other than English.

Meta also said it will reduce how often it uses labels on election-related posts directing people toward reliable information. The company said its users found the labels over-used. Some critics have also said the labels were often too generic and repetitive.

Compared with previous years, though, Meta’s public communication about its response to election misinformation has gone decidedly quiet, The Associated Press reported earlier this month.

Between 2018 and 2020, the company released more than 30 statements that laid out specifics about how it would stifle U.S. election misinformation, prevent foreign adversaries from running ads or posts around the vote and subdue divisive hate speech. Until Tuesday’s blog post, Meta had only released a one-page document outlining plans for the fall elections, even as potential threats to the vote persist.

Twitter, meanwhile, is sticking with its own misinformation labels, though it has redesigned them since 2020 based in part on user feedback. The company activated its “civic integrity policy” last week, which means tweets containing harmful misinformation about the election are labeled with links to credible information. The tweets themselves won’t be promoted or amplified by the platform.

The company, which like TikTok does not allow political advertisements, is focusing on putting verified, reliable information before its users. That can include links to state-specific hubs for local election information as well as nonpartisan public service announcements for voters.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Technology

An illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's LICIACube before the co...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s DART mission successfully slams into an asteroid

A NASA spacecraft has intentionally slammed into an asteroid in humanity's first test of planetary defense.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

Students get back to the basics, reduce technology use on ‘Mindful Monday’

As teachers and students look for ways to balance the use of technology in the classroom, one school in Sandy starts the week off by getting back to the basics with "Mindful Mondays."
8 days ago
Custom built long-range rifle which shot the new world record on September 13, 2022. Photo by Matth...
Brooke Williams

World record for longest long-range rifle shot broken Tuesday

A new record for longest long-range rifle shot was set Tuesday.
12 days ago
Apple unveils the new iPhone 14 product line at a big press event on September 7. (Apple via CNN)...
Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Apple unveils new iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 lineup at a press event on Wednesday, along with three new Apple Watch models, an update to its popular AirPods product line and a feature that could save lives when cell service isn't available.
19 days ago
Apple rolled out it's latest phone and operating system Wednesday....
Dan Rascon

Utah woman works with Apple on child safety upgrades for iOS 16

A Utah County mother of five played a major role to create safety measures included in Apple’s latest software update. 
20 days ago
Apple announced a new iPhone 14 satellite connectivity feature. (Apple via CNN)...
Samantha Murphy Kelly and Jackie Wattles, CNN

Apple announces satellite emergency SOS feature for iPhone 14

Apple announced a forthcoming satellite connectivity feature called Emergency SOS via Satellite at its iPhone 14 launch event.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
U.S. midterms bring few changes from social media companies