An April 2020 letter to Elizabeth Kanter, TikTok’s head of government relations for the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Israel, identified a Chinese government entity that was interested in joining TikTok but did not want to be seen as an overt government account. Because the main goal is to promote content that shows the best side of China in a propaganda way.
The attempt to join was rejected by TikTok leaders. The The fast-growing social media app is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.
Accounts with masked identities are prohibited
The messages show that some members of ByteDance’s senior government relations team, including US-based Elizabeth Kanter and Eric Andersen, global head of corporate affairs and general legal counsel, discussed the matter internally but rejected the request, which she described as sensitive. TikTok used the incident to start a discussion within the company about reports and other sensitive requests Bloomberg.
We have declined to support the request because we believe that creating such an account would violate our Community Guidelines
A TikTok spokesperson said, who added that TikTok has policies against “coordinated and inauthentic behavior” where accounts cannot hide their true identities to influence or sway public opinion, and against political ads.
TikTok allows some Chinese government agencies, including the Chinese embassy in the United States, to verify accounts. The company plans to expand its state-controlled media policy, which categorizes government accounts, to include other government entities in the coming months.
“Social media evangelist. Baconaholic. Devoted reader. Twitter scholar. Avid coffee trailblazer.”