on TikTok: @niemowzamnie and @_bezkitu_. They are related and they do not hide it. Some TikToks are recorded jointly by the authors of both profiles. In the description of the first profile you will find information about “friends from Bez Kitu”. The second, in turn, is advertised as a “daily dose of kaczism”. That’s it, however, from the description we don’t learn anything more about who runs the profile or who the people appearing on it are, who discuss a number of political topics. As it turns out, these are politicians who belong to and hold public office. Their videos have millions of views.
PiS used the back door on TikTok
Both accounts use similar graphics. When the videos are shot in the studio, it is in a similar style. You can’t resist the impression that even the potted flower in the background is the same. Both profiles were set up at the beginning of the year, just a few days apart. The people who appear on them are closely related to Law and Justice, but their materials are not marked as election or party material. The only clue about the people who appear in the recordings are the tags with the name and surname, which can be seen only after expanding the description. However, such information is included only in some of the recordings.
“The channels we analyzed, created by PiS activists – @niemowzamnie and @__bezkitu__, do not agitate directly. They rather focus on criticizing and demobilizing opposition voters. In some materials, we see manipulations regarding the European Union where the host confuses the date of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and suggests that the European Union does not support Ukraine. In subsequent videos, he is compared to the fictitious monster Gollum. These materials are emotionally charged, but have little to do with substantive criticism, “writes the Keyboard Warriors team. On one of the materials, the host shows a drawing of children and argues that “Polish children knew that border guards were defending their homeland.” The recording begins with a girl uttering the slogan “by the wall behind the Polish uniform” and Alyaksandr Lukashenko wiping sweat from his forehead in reaction.
Maria Raczyńska and Małgorzata Żuk publish on the @niemowzamnie channel. Both are members of the PiS youth wing. Raczyńska is also an assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau. Żuk, on the other hand, is a councilor in the Warsaw district of Ochota. She has held this position since 2018, and although she records regularly, she has not submitted a single interpellation or a single query for five years of holding the function.
Bartosz Stasiak, another person associated with the PiS youth group, also appeared on the channel. He works in the office of MP Dariusz Piontkowski, deputy minister of national education. Stasiak appears more often on the bezkitu channel, where you can also watch Michał Moskal and Michał Szpądrowski. The first of them was a PiS councilor in Warsaw’s Żoliborz in 2018-2022. Like Małgorzata Żuk, he has not made any interpellation or question all this time. Moskal also works as the Head of the President’s Office and is the Director of the PiS Presidential Office. In January, there was a lot of talk about him after
Michał Szpądrowski, on the other hand, is an associate of Mariusz Kamiński, the Minister of the Interior. He also works as a councilor in Warsaw’s Ursynów district, in this function he submitted an inquiry or interpellation 17 times. He also worked in Patryk Jaki’s staff, from which he was fired in 2018, when his anti-Semitic comments from 2010 came to light. Karolina Mrozowska also performs on the Bez Kitu channel, who is also the chairperson of the PiS Young Circle in 2018.
TikTok does not allow political advertising, but has no plans to conduct investigative activity
Political advertisements “both in the form of advertisements and content sponsored by politicians published by creators” were no longer accepted. Accounts of politicians and parties after the change from September last year lost access to advertising functions, they were also banned from monetizing political content. The changes – along with the previously implemented ban on paid political ads – mean that government, politicians and political parties accounts will not be able to transfer or receive payments through the monetization features available on TikTok, as well as invest in paid promotion of their content. then in the message. On this occasion, Piotr Żaczko, head of TikTok communication in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, clearly said that political campaigning on TikTok is prohibited.
However, the regulations were quickly circumvented. TikTok does not prohibit anyone from expressing their political views, even politicians. Thus, influencers do not mean sponsored content, although it is obviously political content. Even the case of Filip Zabielski became loud, having 4.6 million followers on one of the recordings, he says that PiS can be criticized for many things, but “they succeeded in one thing”. Zabielski further explains that he is referring to the energy transformation (which is still ongoing and is not a finished process) and lists the successes of PiS: “The Baltic Pipe, the Vistula Spit, interconnectors with Lithuania and Slovakia, mini-reactors, the so-called SMRs, or the construction of nuclear reactors with the Americans and Koreans. The National Electoral Commission has been talking about this problem for years, emphasizing that such activity is prohibited, but there are no regulations that would allow to draw consequences from it.
TikTok itself, however, does not intend to go beyond the legal framework and deal with investigative investigations that would prove whether there has been a violation of the rules or not. “If the creator promotes political parties for money without disclosing it, we have no way to verify it. We are not an investigative editorial office” – said Theo Bertram, vice president of TikTok
We operate on the principle that both TikTok users and political parties abide by the law. I don’t know if it would be appropriate for technology platforms to act as judges here and pass judgment on what is acceptable political promotion and what is not
We asked Piotr Żaczka for an assessment of this situation. In response, he declared that:
if content not marked as political advertising is considered as such by external offices, or, for example, the media prove it in their pages, it will also be reflected in our activities.
Mabel is a talented author and journalist with a passion for all things technology. As an experienced writer for the 247 News Agency, she has established a reputation for her in-depth reporting and expert analysis on the latest developments in the tech industry.