Globally popular Chinese video app TikTok has announced that it is banning all paid political ads on its platform as they do not fit into the experience it aims to provide to millions of its users.
The Beijing Bytedance Technology-created app cited the reason is that politics does not fall in line with the TikTok platform experience, said Blake Chandlee, Vice President of Global Business Solutions, TikTok, in a blog post.
“We have chosen not to allow political ads on TikTok. Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform, and the nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience. To that end, we will not allow paid ads that promote or oppose a candidate, current leader, political party or group, or issue at the federal, state, or local level – including election-related ads, advocacy ads, or issue ads.”
Chandlee also added:
“For us, it all points back to our mission: to inspire creativity and build joy. We want to ensure we’re building a place where our community – users, creators, and brands – can be creative, build trends, and have a whole lot of fun in the process.”
TikTok, which is a free app, has a reported 500 million monthly users in 150 countrries worldwide. According to MediaKix, two-thirds of those are younger than 30 years old.
Tik Tok made headlines earlier this month when internal documents revealed that the app’s “local moderators” were at one time instructed to censor LGBTQ content in Turkey.
According to reporting by The Guardian, Turkey-specific guidelines were handed down against content that depicts “intimate activities (holding hands, kissing, touching) between homosexual lovers.”
A TikTok spokesperson responded to The Guardian’s coverage saying that previous LGBTQ content in Turkey are no longer in place.
“We have since made significant progress in establishing a more robust localized approach… However, we recognize the need to do more and we are actively working with local third parties and independent advisors to ensure our processes are appropriate.”