How TikTok is Shaping the U.K. General Election

TikTok has recently announced the launch of a dedicated in-app General Election centre in preparation for the upcoming U.K. General Election. Through this new feature, TikTok aims to provide reliable and authoritative information to its users to counter misinformation and manipulation efforts surrounding the election. The platform has partnered with Logically Facts, its fact-checking partner, to offer media literacy tips and key election and voting information from the Electoral Commission.

Increased Political Presence

To further establish itself as a platform for political engagement, TikTok has reported that most U.K. politicians have now joined the platform. Notable political parties such as @uklabour, @ukconservatives, and @libdems have recently created new accounts in preparation for the election. Additionally, around a hundred Members of Parliament already had TikTok accounts prior to the election, including popular figures like Labour’s Zarah Sultana and Conservative’s Dr. Luke Evans. U.K. news organizations are also leveraging TikTok to reach new audiences, with platforms like The Daily Mail, Sky News, the BBC, ITV News, and The Sun amassing millions of followers on the app.

Potential Impact of TikTok on the Election

With the majority of U.K. TikTok users falling between the ages of 15 and 24, there is speculation about the platform’s influence on the election. While this demographic is historically less likely to vote, their presence on TikTok presents an opportunity to engage first-time voters on key issues leading up to the election. Some have even dubbed this as the potential first “TikTok election”, with trends from the app potentially shaping public opinion. As such, it is crucial for TikTok to introduce additional measures to safeguard election integrity and provide authoritative resources for users seeking more information. The platform has announced plans to enhance moderation efforts to detect AI manipulation and other forms of influence operations in the lead-up to the election.

Overall, TikTok’s role in the U.K. General Election is evolving, with the platform positioning itself as a hub for political discourse and information dissemination. As the election date approaches, it will be interesting to see how TikTok impacts voter engagement and shapes public perception through its innovative features and partnerships.

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