TikTok vows to uphold Nigeria’s poll integrity, launches in-app election guideBy Fatimah Quadri on February 4, 2023
TIKTOK has announced the launch of the Nigeria Election Hub, an in-app election guide, with promises to uphold the integrity of the country’s general election, as Nigerians head to the poll on February 25, 2023.
The in-app guide is aimed at helping TikTok users keep up with important information such as the election candidates, election countdown, voting requirements and media literacy education etc.
The social media platform owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance, in a blog post stated that the launch was in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission, National Orientation Agency and Africa Check.
It noted that the hub, which is part of the #SaferTogether initiative by TikTok, is aimed at making information accessible to users while also guarding against misinformation on the platform.
Commenting on the launch, Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, TikTok Sub-Saharan Africa, said the collaboration would strengthen efforts to protect against harm and misuse on the platform.
“We are continuously engaging with diverse stakeholders in Nigeria to discuss opportunities to mitigate the misuse of online platforms such as TikTok in a fast paced digital world. Our resolve is to spread positivity in markets where we operate as we promote safety online.” he said.
As part of efforts to promote peace during the election period, the app has also launched a live series #TikTok4Peace in partnership with creators and National Orientation Agency which would feature key opinion leaders, civil society and academia, while focusing on tolerance, building bridges and active citizenship participation.
#TikTok4Peace LIVE streams will take place on the following dates :
6 February 2023 – featuring a member of the National Orientation Agency and Nollywood actor and skit-maker, Mr Macaroni
Topic: “How can stakeholders work together to drive safe and fair elections?”
8 February 2023 – featuring Africa Check and @__Iremide
Topic: “Platform curated comedy – how can content creators promote peace & harmony on the internet?”
To easily access the Elections Hub on the app, labels are being added to specific content related to the 2023 general elections. The labels would enable viewers to click through to the hub and get information about the elections.
Popular election hashtags such as #NigeriaDecides2023 would also be added to aid more visibility of relevant contents on the app.
Also commenting, Ayodele Aluko, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity said: “Part of INEC’s commitment in the Electoral process is to engage young people who constitute a larger part of the voting population.”
“This collaboration with TikTok to create an election Hub where Nigerians can access credible information will help mitigate some of the greatest threats to credible elections. We strongly believe that this initiative will assist to counter misinformation, disinformation and fake news.”
In addition, “the exponential growth of the use of online platforms has led to tremendous business opportunities for influencers, brands and organisations,” says Dr Garba Abari, the Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA).
“However, this growth has also led to challenges like fake news, hate speech, misinformation and disinformation etc. If these challenges are left unchecked, it poses a threat to the credibility of the elections and our national security and development.
“It is, therefore, imperative that all safety measures are put in place to protect users at this crucial time in our Nation’s history,” he stated.
“By including our fact-checking reports on their platform, we are able to reach a wider audience and help ensure that Nigerian voters have access to accurate and reliable information during the election process,” David Ajikobi, Editor at Africa Check Nigeria noted.