Mozilla Report: Conservative and Liberal Influencers Exploiting Loopholes in TikTok to Spread Political Messaging
A recent report from Mozilla says that both conservative and liberal influencers are exploiting loopholes in TikTok. The report is authored by Lukasz Zakrzewski, who is connected with various political groups. Despite his political affiliation, he is also the author of a report published by the political organization Washingtonpost.
Influencers post sponsored content without revealing that they are sponsors
Some influencers post sponsored content without revealing that they have received compensation for it. These posts may seem harmless, but they can damage brand image and reputation if they are not disclosed correctly. Here are some tips to avoid the pitfalls of influencer marketing. Disclosure: Make sure that you disclose the sponsorship to your audience.
Disclosing sponsorship: While there are no laws that prohibit influencers from promoting products and services, it is advisable to make sure that consumers know that sponsored content is sponsored. Influencers should only promote products that they personally use and love. It is not a good idea to promote a product that you don’t like, even if you think your audience will react negatively to it.
Using hashtags: In order to avoid being penalized, influencers should use hashtags to indicate their sponsors. For example, #LIVEpartner on Instagram indicates a sponsored post. Another example is when an NBA player, such as LeBron James, becomes the brand ambassador of a certain brand. LeBron James has been an ambassador of Nike since 2003. Since then, his sponsorship deal with the company has been widely publicized.
Including a disclosure: It’s important to make sure that your brand and influencer relationship is clear in the caption and bio. In addition, influencers should include their social media handles and email addresses in their media kits. This way, sponsors can easily contact the influencer directly.
FTC Guidelines: The FTC has recently issued guidelines on influencer marketing, requiring influencers to disclose their sponsorship. They must comply with all laws concerning deceptive advertising and are held accountable for proper disclosure. Despite the FTC’s warnings, it seems that influencers still post sponsored content without disclosing that they are sponsors.
Brands should disclose their sponsors in the caption, where it is easily identified. The sponsored content should be consistent with the content on the page and not appear to be sponsored. This will help avoid the negative feelings that people have towards traditional advertising. Influencers should also be transparent about their sponsors so they don’t confuse it with editorial content.
The amount of money you charge an influencer depends on their popularity and industry. For example, if the influencer has a million followers, you should charge them more than an influencer with 5K followers. Regardless of the amount, make sure you disclose the sponsorship before the influencer posts sponsored content. This is to avoid shady practices and build trust between the brand and influencer.
Before posting sponsored content on your Instagram account, remember that you need to know your audience. Your audience is looking for entertainment and information, so make sure your content provides both. They will respond more positively to content that is tailored to their interests and preferences.
Loopholes in TikTok rules allow conservative and liberal influencers to post sponsored content without revealing that they are sponsors
Despite TikTok’s strict rules, conservative and liberal influencers are using loopholes in the platform to post sponsored content without disclosing that they are sponsored. A Mozilla study found that conservative and liberal influencers used TikTok to spread political messaging without disclosing who they were sponsored by. The researchers say that TikTok should do a better job of policing its content and rules to prevent political influencers from misusing its platform.
The Mozilla report also criticizes TikTok for not providing specific information on its advertising policies. It also found that it is hard to track the content of political influencers, because the platform does not require content creators to reveal their sponsors.
Despite this, TikTok is stepping up efforts to fight election misinformation. It’s working with fact-checking organizations to eliminate false statements on the platform. And it’s restricting fact-checked content on its “For You” pages.
While TikTok has made changes to its rules, it doesn’t address all of the issues raised in the Mozilla report. The company has already removed half a million accounts that violate its policy.
The FTC has issued rules to ensure transparency in digital advertising. Those who violate them risk getting fined or subjected to a consent order. These campaigns also have the potential to promote less than benign causes. Progressive organizations are actively tackling disinformation and are using strategies like covert paid ad campaigns to fight it.
TikTok should make it easier for influencers to disclose sponsored content. For example, an account named House of US received a large amount of money from liberal political action committee The 99 Problems. While it did not disclose the funding, it was still able to call for votes for Democrats in an election without revealing that it was sponsored. A similar case happened with Taylor Swift.
The social media platform has become a notorious place for political advertising. Many influential liberal and conservative influencers have made their careers on the platform by posting political sponsored content without disclosing who they are. However, the platform has faced controversy for allowing such advertisers to engage in the platform. Mozilla has urged the popular social networks to modify their rules. Mozilla exposed the tax filings of TPUSA, which spent millions on influencer media programs, claiming that the money was for “long-term vitality.” Another story involves a small progressive political action committee called “The 99 Problems,” which paid TikTok creators to promote their pro-Biden messaging.
Among the products that are allowed to be posted without disclosure are tobacco products, e-cigarettes, cigarette containers, and shisha. Other products that are prohibited include drugs, alcohol, and marijuana, as well as dangerous weapons and other items. Another category for banned content includes gambling-related Branded Content and online gambling.
Calls for more transparency on sponsored content
The new report from Mozilla called for greater transparency on sponsored content on the platform. The report notes that TikTok is not following best practices when it comes to ad transparency, including not making political ads more visible. In addition, posts made by influencers without disclosure do not always contain a message that states they are paid for. The company should provide more tools for users to monitor influencers’ messages.
The report notes that many political influencers on TikTok have made money from political campaigns, but do not disclose their paid status. Mozilla found that TikTok influencers across the political spectrum were paid by a range of political organizations, but did not disclose their political ads.
Mozilla’s report notes that many social media platforms are not transparent enough when it comes to ad disclosure. The report calls on these companies to make their sponsored content more transparent, by providing specific mechanisms for content creators to disclose their partnerships. It also urges them to create more ad transparency tools to help researchers better track the political ad content on their platforms.