Update (8/5/20, 8 p.m.): Following the publication of this article, TikTok confirmed in a statement to Media Matters that it removed both the Republican Hype House video and the original video from the affiliated account for violating its policies, adding that it was “working to prevent re-uploads of them.”
A conservative account on TikTok with a large following uploaded a video telling Democrats to vote the day after Election Day, violating the platform’s rules against election misinformation. The video appears to have spread following a meme on the platform telling people to vote on the wrong day, which is prohibited by TikTok’s rules.
The Republican Hype House, one of the widely followed conservative “hype house” accounts on TikTok that The New York Times has described as “short-form TV networks, each with a cast of talking heads,” recently uploaded a video labeled “Breaking News” featuring a person falsely claiming that due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, “Election Day has been split into two separate days.” The person told Republicans and independents to “head to the polls on November 3” -- referring to the actual Election Day -- while “Democrats and other party affiliates, hang tight and then make sure to head to the polls on November 4.” The video, which was originally uploaded in July by another account that affiliates itself with the Republican Hype House and has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, has more than 40,000 views.
Multiple TikTok users in recent weeks have also uploaded videos telling Republicans to vote on November 4. (Media Matters is not showing identifying information for videos created by minors to protect their identities.)
TikTok’s Community Guidelines clearly prohibit this misinformation: In its section on “misleading information,” the platform bars “content that misleads community members about elections or other civic processes.”
The Republican Hype House video also comes right around the same time as another conservative account with a major following on TikTok, @conservativehypehouse, uploaded a deceptively edited clip of 2020 Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden that received more than 250,000 views. TikTok had told Business Insider months earlier that the edited video of Biden violated its rules on misleading information, and its renewed spread comes as TikTok has expanded its rules to specifically prohibit “manipulated content that misleads users by distorting the truth of events in a way that could cause harm.” That video also remained up on the platform for days, despite violating TikTok’s guidelines, before it was finally taken down.