TikTok has announced a series of aid funds and initiatives to support those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and to help other people and organizations struggling with its impact. In total, the company promises $ 375 million; including $ 250 million in funds, $ 100 million in advertising credits and $ 25 million in advertising space for public health information.
The $ 250 million in funds are divided into a couple of different aid funds. There is the Health Heroes Aid Fund ($ 150 million), which will provide money for medical personnel, supplies, and financial aid for health workers. Then there is it`s Community Aid Fund ($ 40 million) that provides money to organizations that help communities that have been hard hit by the health crisis (TikTok will also provide an additional $ 10 million in donations). Finally, the service has pledged $ 50 million to support distance learning initiatives.
Along with direct funds, TikTok pledges $ 25 million in advertising space to help NGOs, health authorities, and local authorities deliver public health information. TikTok has been criticized for allowing coronavirus conspiracy theories to spread on its platform. Last month, MediaMatters reported on a conspiracy theory that warned of an impending “national quarantine,” which spanned a series of videos with thousands of visits between them. These videos remained on the service, even though TikTok updated its rules of conduct in January to crack down on misinformation that can cause harm.
Finally, there is $ 100 million in advertising credits to help small and medium-sized businesses struggling in the wake of the pandemic. TikTok says the program will be rolled out worldwide in the coming months, but added that this deployment will hinge on advice on restarting business operations given by health authorities.
TikTok is far from being the first platform to announce advertising funds or credits for organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Google has announced a $ 200 million investment fund and $ 340 million in advertising credits for small and medium businesses, Apple has launched a $ 50 million fund to help the music industry, while Facebook has invested $ 100 million in journalism to support reports that are now more essential than even. Earlier this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also announced that he would donate $ 1 billion in shares, equal to more than a quarter of his net worth, to fund relief for COVID-19 worldwide.