UPDATE (11/5/20): Following publication of Media Matters’ report, TikTok removed all but one election misinformation video for violating its misleading content policy. On the remaining example, from user “thislilcoop,” shown below, the company reduced the “discoverability” and added a banner linking to authoritative election information.
TikTok is enabling the rapid spread of misinformation about yesterday’s election, despite the company's policy explicitly prohibiting it. Media Matters has identified 11 examples of election misinformation spreading today on TikTok, with over 200,000 combined views and counting.
After there wasn’t a winner immediately declared in the presidential election on November 3, misinformation videos alleging mass voter fraud are now going viral on TikTok. More specific election conspiracy theories being shared on the platform range from unfounded “magic ballot” narratives claiming that newly counted mail-in ballots for Democratic nominee Joe Biden are fraudulent, to allegations about Arizona poll workers intentionally handing out markers to Trump voters so that their ballots would not be processed and go uncounted.
These baseless allegations are emerging as Biden takes the lead in Michigan and Wisconsin amid an attempt by right-wing media to frame his ascendance as fraudulent. President Donald Trump is even encouraging this election misinformation, tweeting: “They are working hard to make up 500,000 vote advantage in Pennsylvania disappear -- ASAP. Likewise, Michigan and others!”
The 11 videos identified below are just a small sample of the election misinformation circulating on TikTok today.
Mass voter fraud allegations
levanakroubcastricone -- 21,900 views
thislilcoop -- 18,700 views
jackmvrtin -- 4,327 views
thesycorax -- 3,361 views
Michigan voter fraud allegations
trishayarrington -- 11,700 views
justplainright -- 47,500 views
bstone412 -- 20,400 views
“So what’s going on in Michigan -- they just randomly found 140,000 votes that were all for Biden, all of them weren’t postmarked. I’m really confused. I understand the whole mail-in voting thing, but every vote is just magically for Biden and are just appearing out of nowhere? I really don’t understand this.”
thesycorax -- 1,617 views
unfiltered..conservative -- 37,400 views
“This is the biggest fraud this country has ever seen -- 138,000 mail-in ballots magically vote for Joe Biden, nothing for Donald Trump.”
Arizona voter fraud allegations
justplainright -- 33,500 views
ammodogz -- 2,694 views (since removed)