Nine in 10 political disinformation ads tested by researchers in advance of the US midterm elections were approved by TikTok, despite the platform’s purported prohibition of political advertising.
Facebook approved 20% of such English-language ads and 50% of such Spanish-language ads. YouTube succeeded in not approving any and eventually blocking the experimental account.
However, a similar experiment carried out in Brazil in August found that 100% of election misinformation ads submitted on Facebook and YouTube were approved, implying worse moderation outside of the US.
The research was conducted by Global Witness and the Cybersecurity for Democracy (C4D) team at NYU Tandon.