Eighty years and 15 presidential elections later, Comelec said Wednesday it would debut on TikTok, Gen Z's favorite social platform in a crossover that could define next year's vote.
Through the #RightInformationThisElection campaign, Comelec and Tiktok said it would give Filipino voters access to credible election information and resources on platform through the official Tiktok account of Comelec.
Likewise, Tiktok will intensify its initiatives that combat misinformation in order to protect users and maintain authenticity on the platform.
"Tiktok is not just about dances and dubbed skits as it is most popularly known. Maraming mga dentists, lawyers, engineers. And now with this partnership, Comelec will join the long list," Comelec commissioner Aimee Ferolino said, citing how roughly 50% of Tiktok users are audiences aged less than 34 years old.
The event's host, Julienne Ipapo, is a young person herself who gained half a million followers at 22 years old on Tiktok by making educational content.
"The youth who will vote in the coming elections will play a big part in nation-building. They can be catalysts for social reform, they have a big role to determine the future of the nation. With this partnership with TikTok, we hope to bring awareness to a wider audience," Ferolino said.
Long before the Comelec's TikTok launch, the commission's spokesperson, James Jimenez, has been keeping busy in the platform, educating voters through his personal account.
"TikTok is where you get to reach more people and speak to them in a language they respond to," Jimenez said.
Tiktok has a fake news problem, much like all social media platforms. Almost 90 billion videos flagged as fake news were removed from the platform globally in 2020 alone, Tiktok head of Public Policy Kristoffer Rada said, noting that number has grown “exponentially” in 2021.
"Tiktok is filled with young users who may be first-time voters, and so getting them credible information for the 2022 elections, we believe, is critical for us to ensure they make an informed choice on who to vote for in 2022. We also take a very strong stance against misinformation," Rada said.
Like other social media giants such as Facebook, Tiktok partnered with fact-checkers to ensure content on the platform is accurate and truthful. But also like Facebook, the Beijing-headquartered company can still do more when it comes to content moderation.
By partnering with a government body that has a direct stake in a crucial democratic process, Rada said Tiktok promises to do whatever it can to educate young voters.
Aside from Comelec having a dedicate information page, Tiktok said it will implement Comelec rules in relation to candidates campaigning this coming elections.