By Brian Fung, CNN
TikTok has begun to require “mandatory verification” for political accounts based in the United States and will be prohibiting all political fundraising on its short-video platform, the company said Wednesday.
The changes could affect the way many of the company’s millions of US users engage with political content ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The push to verify political accounts began Wednesday on a trial basis and applies to governments, politicians and political parties on the platform, the company said in a blog post.
TikTok’s political fundraising ban, meanwhile, will kick in over the coming weeks and is part of a wider effort to clamp down on politicians’ ability to monetize the platform.
Under the coming changes, politicians and political parties will not be allowed to ask TikTok users for donations or direct them to fundraising websites, the company said.
Other updates will include preventing political accounts from using the platform’s other monetization features.
“Specifically, they will not have access to features like gifting, tipping and e-commerce, and will be ineligible for our Creator Fund,” Blake Chandlee, president of global business solutions at TikTok, wrote in the blog post.
TikTok already prohibits political advertising in its policies, but to further enforce the rule, the platform will now remove all advertising tools entirely from accounts belonging to politicians and political parties, the company added.
TikTok has grown in popularity with politicians trying to reach voters where they are, such as Rep. Tim Ryan and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey.
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