Back in May, we asked Mozilla supporters in Germany what role they thought big technology companies would play in the upcoming Bundestag election. Here’s a look at what we heard back:
Big Tech companies significantly influence opinions. Therefore you have, in some cases, considerable influence on current and future politics.
I have great concerns about the influence of Google, Facebook and their peers. Our children in particular do not learn to distinguish where the information comes from and who is still trustworthy.
It’s clear that you’re concerned how companies like Facebook and Google are treating mis- and disinformation in this election. So today, I’m pleased to announce three ways that Mozilla will hold social media platforms accountable during Germany’s election cycle.
Help shed light on TikTok
TikTok may be ahead of the trends when it comes to viral hashtag challenges, but they’re falling dangerously behind other social media platforms when it comes to advertising transparency.
Our research in the US revealed that TikTok is teeming with political content from paid influencers, and that it’s all hidden from view.
If you’re a TikTok user in Germany, you can help us uncover how TikTok is enforcing its policies on political advertising by joining the TikTok Citizen Tipline. Are you seeing a political ad in spite of TikTok’s ban? Or other shady behavior by political groups and influencers that’s gone unnoticed? Simply send the TikTok video directly to Mozilla’s TikTok account via direct message.
Analysing YouTube’s recommendations
Don’t use TikTok?
Earlier this year, Mozilla and 37,380 YouTube users conducted a study to better understand harmful YouTube recommendations, using the RegretsReporter browser extension. We now know that YouTube is recommending videos that violate their very own content policies and harm people around the world — and that needs to stop.
Download the RegretsReporter extension and help us advocate for urgent action from German policymakers and the public.
Comparing Big Tech’s Policies
The choices that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter make to tackle mis- and disinformation could have a big impact during the German election cycle.
So we’re tracking and analysing each company’s policies. In particular, we want to see if the platforms have learned lessons from last year’s US Elections, and whether they plan to do the same in Germany. As social media companies make policy changes, we’ll be providing analysis on whether we think these will help uphold election integrity in Germany — and in other elections around the world. We’ll let you know whether they live up to their promises.
We have proven that by working together, we’re able to stand up against the resources and might of some of the biggest tech companies in the world. This work is made possible partly through donations from people like you to the Mozilla Foundation – if you’d like to support our work, please make a donation here today.
Thanks for all of your support!