Saturday, December 4

TikTok Removes Hundreds of Australian Videos in Crackdown of Disinformation | Tik Tok

False claims about Covid vaccines, including the fact that the Australian prime minister faked receiving his injection, were among some of the hundreds of Australian videos that TikTok removed from its platform as part of a disinformation campaign.

In February, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, Apple, Adobe, and TikTok signed a new voluntary industry code aimed at combating misinformation and misinformation online.

On Friday, the organization representing business, Digi, published the first annual reports on how the tech giants are implementing code obligations.

On social video platform TikTok Report, the company revealed that it had removed 651 videos mentioning Covid-19 or coronavirus between October 2020 and March 2021 for violating the company’s disinformation policy. Another 222 videos were removed for posting erroneous medical information.

Some of the false claims that were made included that Prime Minister Scott Morrison “faked” the Pfizer vaccination despite having a clear view of him receiving the injection; a false claim that Health Minister Greg Hunt’s cellulite diagnosis was due to his receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine; and a false claim that the AstraZeneca vaccine had caused “serious side effects” in “80%” of members of the Australian navy.

TikTok works with Agence France-Presse (AFP) to verify claims made about Covid-19 and relays those verified claims to company moderators.

About 20,000 Australian videos at that time also had a Covid-19 information tag added, directing users to health sources. In cases where a video’s claims have been reviewed, but not yet confirmed, users will receive a pop-up warning suggesting not to share the video.

Twitter reported that between July and December of last year measures were taken against 3.5 million accounts worldwide for violating the rules, including 1 million suspended. A total of 4.5 million tweets, banners or avatars were removed for violating the rules. Specifically on Covid misinformation, 3,400 accounts were taken against them, including 600 suspensions, and 3,900 tweets, banners or avatars were removed.

In the case of accounts that violated the company’s electoral integrity policy, 6,500 were taken against them and 50 were suspended. A total of 8,100 tweets, banners or avatars were eliminated.

In Australia specifically, action was taken to violate the rules on 37,000 Twitter accounts, including 7,200 suspensions. A total of 47,000 tweets, banners or avatars were removed from Australian accounts.

Just over 50 had actions taken for violating the Covid-19 disinformation policy, and fewer than 10 were suspended. Only 50 tweets were deleted. More than 40 Australian accounts were prosecuted for violating the electoral integrity policy and 70 tweets, banners or avatars were removed under this policy.

Redbubble, the Australian marketplace where users can make their own merchandise, reported an increase in sales of merchandise with anti-vax labels, peaking at more than $ 15,000 in mid-2020.

The company said it removed 81 Australian-made products that contravene its harmful misinformation policy, including items labeled “plandemic,” “David Icke” and various anti-vaccination labels.

On Friday, Facebook stated that it had removed more than 110,000 pieces of Covid-related misinformation generated by Australian accounts in the first year of the pandemic.

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