Unlike other corners of the internet, TikTok is at its most elegant when its users lean into their most smooth-brained impulses. An infinite scroll of skateboarding parakeets, cottagecore witches hexing the moon and fun breakfast hacks is a balm to the soul in these fraught political times, and the mindlessness of the content is almost enough to make you forget that we’re in the midst of a contentious election that’s almost certain to stretch into at least a third day of results tabulation and ruin everyone’s lives.
But because we can never rest, conservative youths have begun using their TikTok accounts to promote election misinformation and false allegations of voter fraud, defiling a once-sacred space and prompting the platform to remove several of the videos on Wednesday.
The offending videos come from two popular pro-Trump accounts in particular, the Republican Hype House and The Republican Boys. According to Insider, both accounts had posted videos echoing President Donald Trump’s most recent frenetic lies, including the claim that the Democrats have plotted to somehow steal the election.
In one since-deleted video, the “Republican Boys” referenced a tweet from the pro-Trump pundit Benny Johnson that falsely claimed that former Vice President Joe Biden had “magically” gained hundreds of thousands of votes in Wisconsin and Michigan. In another deleted video, members of the Republican Hype House falsely claimed that Wisconsin had tallied more votes than its number of registered voters—a lie that has been debunked.
In addition to removing the videos, a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement that the platform would continue to work with its fact-checking partners to “assess the accuracy of content” in order to determine whether or not it’s in compliance with newly-released election integrity guidelines. In the guidelines, TikTok pledged to “reduce discoverability” of any content wherein a candidate or user attempts to prematurely announce a victory, and also promised to “limit distribution of the content” if “claims can’t be verified or fact-checking is inconclusive.”