TikTok pulls the plug on the live stream of Reform UK’s rally, says it was a ‘moderation error’

News & Politics

The Reform Party rally that took place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre in England was disrupted on Sunday when TikTok abruptly suspended the live stream. The event featured speeches from Reform Party leader Nigel Farage and other notable figures, including Ann Widdecombe, according to Reclaim the Net.

The suspension reportedly lasted about 30 minutes and was later described as a “moderation error,” according to a TikTok spokesperson. Despite this explanation, concerns spread among those watching Widdecombe’s speech when the feed cut out.

‘We continue to invest heavily in training technology and human moderators to detect, review, and remove harmful content.’

Widdecombe was speaking about the need for reform throughout the country and noted that the Reform Party was committed to “common sense” governance, going on to criticize the country’s current governmental strategies.

The report mentioned that Widdecombe said, “These next four days are crucial,” alluding to the vote set to take place on July 4. She added that she had “heard more common sense” among those she was currently affiliated with than her previous time with the Conservatives.

A second report mentioned that Widdecombe accused the Conservatives of putting all their “eggs in the Rwanda basket.” She said there was no good reason why Reform UK should not form the official opposition party throughout the country.

Despite TikTok’s interruption, the feed was soon restored. A spokesperson for the social media platform said, “Nigel Farage has had their access to Live restored after a temporary suspension (less than 30 mins) due to a moderation error.”

“More than 40,000 people work alongside technology to keep TikTok safe, and this includes dedicated teams and detection models to moderate Lives in real time.”

“We continue to invest heavily in training technology and human moderators to detect, review, and remove harmful content.”

Despite the brief setback, this is not the first time the party has experienced censorship with online platforms during election season, according to Reclaim the Net. The report stated that Google only reinstated Reform UK’s advertising account in June after there were accusations of election interference by Nigel Farage.

Farage has previously taken aim at X, formerly known as Twitter, claiming that it prevented his messaging from being shared with followers. As a result, he called for Google’s Matt Brittin to take action against what he perceived as censorship. As a result, Google restored the account, raising questions about Big Tech’s involvement in the political process.

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