Video-sharing app TikTok now has additional responsibilities as it gets added to a list of platforms legally required to follow obligations set out by Singapore's Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) Office. With the new rules, TikTok will now need to help combat fake news, prevent abuse by bots and ensure online transparency for political advertising, according to The Straits Times. TikTok joins other companies such as Meta, Twitter, Baidu and WeChat in executing these duties.
According to media reports on ST, POFMA noted that it regularly reviews the list of prescribed Internet intermediaries under Pofma to ensure that it is up to date. It added that as part of its review, TikTok has been gazetted as a prescribed Internet intermediary from 7 March and that TikTok has been informed. It added that these intermediaries will have additional obligations and that they will have to put in place systems and processes to help combat the spreading of false news.
Media reports added that TikTok was engaged by the POFMA office throughout the process and that it agrees that misinformation is a challenge that all platforms have to acknowledge. As an Internet intermediary, TikTok may be asked to tag misleading information with notices. It might also be required to restrict Singaporeans from being able to access content from specific users.
It will also have to follow three codes of practice. It has to give prominence to credible online sources of information, commit to transparency for online political advertisements, and prevent the abuse of fake accounts and bots, according to ST.
This comes after the app came under fire in recent times for allowing videos with misinformation to be circulated particularly about politics and vaccines. For example, in 2022, it was found that anonymous TikTok accounts were putting out content that was critical of Singapore’s decision to implement sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Pofma and TikTok for more information.
The news comes shortly after TikTok announced that it would be launching a new feature called "Series” which will allow some of its creators to share longer form videos behind a paywall. According to a release from the company, "Series” enables eligible creators to post collections of stories and each Series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long, giving people a new, longer format to watch their favourite creators and content.
Creators can select how much their Series should cost that best reflects the value of their exclusive content, which can be purchased for access via direct in-video links or through a creator’s profile.
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