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Tim Culpan

TikTok Is the New Front in Election Misinformation

The growing social media platform is far more viral and harder to police than Facebook or YouTube.



Photographer: Veejay Villafranca/Bloomberg

He’s the son of a brutal dictator, fudged his own educational credentials, and his family owes up to $3.6 billion in estate taxes, yet he still won a landslide election to become the Philippines’s next president. When Bongbong Marcos gets sworn in Thursday, the 64-year-old might want to add Chinese short-video service TikTok to his thank you list.

Six years after Facebook was manipulated to help Donald Trump become America’s 45th president, the US social media giant has ceded ground to a young upstart that’s far more viral, and even harder to track. We may never know just how important TikTok was in getting Ferdinand Marcos Jr (back) to the Malacanang Palace, but we can be sure that it’s headed for a starring role at future elections in the US and beyond.