Coronavirus: TikTok donates £5m to Royal College of Nursing Foundation
The video sharing app TikTok is donating £ 5 million to a British nursing fund, to assist it during the coronavirus epidemic.
The Royal College of Nursing Foundation will use the money to provide support for frontline nurses facing difficulties.
It is the largest donation made by a social media company to date to a British organization involved in the fight against the pandemic.
The gift is part of a larger $ 325 million (£ 257 million) global fund that the Chinese company has set up to provide assistance.
Not all this sum is given in cash. A total of $ 125 million is offered in the form of advertising credits, which are split between small and medium-sized businesses, non-governmental organizations, local authorities and health agencies.
TikTok and other social media companies are currently facing greater control over their efforts to deal with disinformation about Covid-19 on their platforms.
This is “an extremely delicate moment of public policy for everyone,” said Carl Miller, director of research at the center for social media analysis (CASM) at the think tank Demos.
“Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok have become our public space.
“They know they are on another line firsthand [and] governments could legally require technology giants to tackle disinformation. ”
Doctors who dance
TikTok’s action follows Twitter CEO’s commitment to donate $ 1 billion of his personal stake in Square digital payments company to fund “Covid-19 relief”. Jack Dorsey described it as representative of 28% of its financial value.
In April, Facebook promised $ 25 million to support frontline health workers, as well as paying $ 2 million in humanitarian aid donations and an additional $ 100 million grant to small businesses. The social media company also donated its 720,000 emergency mask to healthcare workers.
TikTok wants his move to be viewed as a show of solidarity with the nurses, many of whom have posted videos on his platform in the past month.
Videos with the #NHS hashtag had over 189 million views on the app, with the best search results showing nurses and doctors dancing to popular music.
“Despite the huge challenges that frontline healthcare professionals face on a daily basis, I have been hugely encouraged by what we are seeing on our platform,” said the UK technology company’s general manager.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted that TikTok is supporting the RCN Foundation which offers so much support to so many.”
Last week, culture secretary Oliver Dowden ordered social media companies to be more aggressive in responding to so-called fake news, especially conspiracy theories linking 5G networks to the pandemic.
But politicians also rely on the same platforms to convey their messages.
TikTok has widely promoted a video of London Mayor Sadiq Khan thanking health professionals in his Discover feed.
And the health secretary himself posted a video on the app.
Using the hashtag #ThankYouNHS, Mr. Hancock reported to the frontline staff of the work the government was doing with regard to equipment and safety tests, and thanked them for their efforts.
“Politicians are in a strange state with technology giants,” said Miller.
“On one hand, sooner or later they will have to regulate them. On the other hand, the digital world is one of the most important arenas in which they have to campaign.”