TikTok Inc. identified a Russian disinformation network spreading war propaganda about Ukraine to more than a hundred thousand European users over the summer, the company disclosed on Thursday.
The network operated in Russia, but targeted mostly people in Germany, Italy and the UK in their respective languages. About 1,700 accounts belonging to the network were able to spread anti-Ukrainian messages by masquerading as accounts created by local users. Between July and September 2022 the accounts attracted 133,564 followers, it added.
It is unclear whether the network was linked to the Russian government. The revelations were disclosed in a report submitted under the EU's Code of Practice on Disinformation, a voluntary commitment from online platforms to combat misinformation online.
"We don't allow activities that may undermine the integrity of our platform or the authenticity of our users," a TikTok spokesperson said. "The fact that these networks and related accounts were quickly identified and removed is a testament to the considerable resources we have invested in protecting our community from being misled."
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