Tiktok has failed the disinformation test after approving 16 ads targeting Irish audiences with false information about this week’s EU elections.

The ads were made by the international campaign group Global Witness to test its ability to detect fake news.

Tiktok approved adverts containing political disinformation ahead of European polls, a report showed, flouting its own guidelines and raising suspicions about its ability to detect election falsehoods.

The international campaign group set this test for three platforms which are Tiktok, Youtube, and X formerly known as Twitter. YouTube managed to catch 14 out of the 16 ads and they disregarded them. X on the other hand caught all the 16 fake ads and suspended them.

“Tiktok has miserably failed in this test,” Henry Peck a senior campaigner at Global Witness told AFP.

The fake ads were submitted by the group last month and they contained misleading information that posed a risk to the EU electoral process.

Those ads included warning voters to stay at home over the danger of poll violence and a spike in contagious diseases. It also raised a notice that the legal age to vote has been reviewed to be 21 years.

Citing an internal investigation, Tiktok correctly identified the breach but the ads were approved due to human error by a moderator.

“We immediately instituted new processes to help prevent this from happening in future,” a Tiktok spokesperson told AFP.

“I was surprised because in the past Tiktok used to bring down content that is against their rules and in this instance, caught nothing,” Peck said.

Last month Tiktok released a statement saying they have deeply invested in protecting election integrity.

Later on, Global Witness deleted the ads after Tiktok owned up to the mistake.