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TikTok Bans Political Accounts From Monetising Posts & Soliciting Campaign Fundraising

"TikTok is an entertainment platform where people come to share their stories, and understand other people's experiences, too."

Cover image via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash & Al Jazeera

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A recent policy change to TikTok's monetisation feature has set a brand new precedent for political-based accounts

Politicians using TikTok as a means of communicating and gathering support from their audience will no longer be able to use the app to attain monetary assistance

This past Tuesday, 21 September, President of Global Business Solutions at TikTok, Blake Chandlee released a blog post that expressed the network's update on policies for political accounts.

"TikTok is an entertainment platform where people come to share their stories, and understand other people's experiences, too. As we have set out before, we want to continue to develop policies that foster and promote a positive environment that brings people together, not divide them," Chandlee wrote in the post.

Blake Chandlee, President of Global Business Solutions at TikTok.

Image via Financial Times

Opening with a discussion on verifying legitimate political TikTok accounts, the post went on to note that the platform will be prohibiting monetisation of political advertisement

Divided into two sections, the first part of the post discussed verifying political accounts on TikTok. While Chandlee's post expressly states that the platform does not proactively encourage politicians to join TikTok, he welcomes the choice and aims to carry out verification as a means to ensure that their users receive information from an authentic source

"Verification lets our community know an account is authentic and belongs to the user it represents, which is a way to build trust between high-profile creators and their community," continued the post.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

The second section of the post, however, detailed how the platform is planning to further prevent political advertising and monetising those ads on a global level.

"TikTok has long prohibited political advertising, including both paid ads on the platform, and creators being paid directly to make branded content. We currently do that by prohibiting political content in an ad, and we're also now applying restrictions on an account level," read the post.

In essence, TikTok accounts that belong to politicians or political parties with automatically have their advertising feature turned off.

Nonetheless, the platform will continue to allow governmental organisations to advertise in limited circumstances, such as to support public health and safety, and access information. In these cases, these accounts will be required to work closely with a TikTok representative.

Lastly, the post stipulates that political accounts will be completely prohibited from the monetising feature, and will therefore be unable to give or receive money through TikTok

Among some of the features these accounts will not be able to access include gifting, tipping, e-commerce, as well as an ineligibility to join the Creator Fund category of TikTok, a famous method of banking in on videos. Furthermore, these accounts will not be able to spend money to promote the content on their pages.

The blog post also stipulates that they will be heading towards a further change in policies over the next few weeks, to disallow these pages from soliciting campaign fundraising. "That includes content such as a video from a politician asking for donations, or a political party directing people to a donation page on their website," as outlined in the post.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Al Jazeera

Closing out the blog post, Chandlee states that TikTok's ultimate goal is to strike a balance between enabling people to discuss relevant issues while protecting the platform's creativity and entertainment

Click here to read the full blog post by TikTok

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