TikTok takes down another 284 accounts linked to Spamouflage campaign

TikTok takes down hundreds of accounts linked to disinformation amidst pressure from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

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TikTok joined Meta in deleting hundreds of accounts linked to a China-based disinformation campaign, ‘Spamouflage’. Earlier this week, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, removed some 9000 accounts that were said to be the largest-ever spam network associated with the same group.

The accounts displayed thousands of videos targeting and denigrating personalities in Taiwan and the Western world. TikTok’s ban came from violations of its policy against covert influence operations. Although the company promises to feature operation details in the company’s following quarterly report, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) thinks that TikTok China has had ample warnings of such groups and should have acted proactively. ASPI expressed its willingness to work with the tech giant as an independent assessor and advised that the company should follow in Meta’s footsteps and disclose state-backed influence operations on its platforms in its reports.  

TikTok app has been banned by several governments, including those of the US, UK, and Australia, for its association with the Chinese Communist Party. The company denies all related claims. 

Why does it matter?

This development brings to light the increased pressure on platform operators to amply monitor networks housed on their platforms. At the same time, it speaks to the likelihood of increased censorship by platform operators and government bodies.