TikTok Takes Down Chinese Influence Operation

tiktok chinese influence Martin/Adobe Ян Заболотний/Adobe Parvez252/Adobe

On Thursday May 23, TikTok released a new transparency report. Among other things, the report detailed how the tech giant took down an influence campaign from China. 

The campaign, founded in February, consisted of 16 accounts that promoted the policies of the Chinese communist party and general “Chinese culture.” The report noted that the network had 110,000 accounts following it before it was taken down. 

How many influence operations did TikTok remove?

Altogether, TikTok claims in a new post that it took down 15 influence operations and removed 3,001 related accounts in the first four months of 2024. The app found that “a majority of these networks were attempting to influence political discourse among their target audience, including in relation to elections.” 

This included networks based in Indonesia and even in the UK, with TikTok claiming that the latter campaign was “artificially amplifying narratives about the UK’s domestic political discourse.”

TikTok vs China

Given the current legal crisis currently surrounding TikTok, it’s the influence campaign in China that will undoubtedly raise the most questions. Back in April, Joe Biden signed a law that demanded that TikTok split up from Chinese parent company ByteDance or face a national ban in the US. 

This is due to long-standing concerns about China having access to US users’ data. And with these types of influence campaigns going on, the concern is definitely understandable. 

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