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OtherSeptember 19 2022, 13:34 pm

TikTok Major Source of Misinformation on Prominent News Stories New Study Finds

News­guard, a web­site eval­u­a­tion ser­vice, has pub­lished a new report indi­cat­ing that 20% of Tik­Tok videos from search­es on promi­nent news top­ics con­tained mis­in­for­ma­tion. Accord­ing to the News­guard report:

TikTok’s users, who are pre­dom­i­nant­ly teens and young adults, are con­sis­tent­ly fed false and mis­lead­ing claims when they search on Tik­Tok for infor­ma­tion about promi­nent news top­ics. The News­Guard inves­ti­ga­tion found that for a sam­pling of search­es on promi­nent news top­ics, almost 20 per­cent of the videos pre­sent­ed as search results con­tained mis­in­for­ma­tion. This means that for search­es on top­ics rang­ing from the Russ­ian inva­sion of Ukraine to school shoot­ings and COVID vac­cines, TikTok’s users are con­sis­tent­ly fed false and mis­lead­ing claims. Asked for com­ment about these find­ings, a Tik­Tok spokesper­son said that TikTok’s Com­mu­ni­ty Guide­lines “make clear that we do not allow harm­ful mis­in­for­ma­tion, includ­ing med­ical mis­in­for­ma­tion, and we will remove it from the plat­form. We part­ner with cred­i­ble voic­es to ele­vate author­i­ta­tive con­tent on top­ics relat­ed to pub­lic health, and part­ner with inde­pen­dent fact-check­ers who help us to assess the accu­ra­cy of content.”

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The tox­i­c­i­ty of Tik­Tok has become a sig­nif­i­cant threat because new research from Google sug­gests that Tik­Tok is increas­ing­ly being used by young peo­ple as a search engine, as they turn to the video-shar­ing plat­form, instead of Google, to find infor­ma­tion. In 2021, Tik­Tok sur­passed Google as the most pop­u­lar web­site world­wide, accord­ing to the inter­net infra­struc­ture com­pa­ny Cloud­flare. The Wall Street Jour­nal in August referred to Tik­Tok as the “new Google.”

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed in March 2022 that Tik­Tok was fail­ing to con­trol Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da on its plat­form, that the Tik­Tok algo­rithm rapid­ly shows users mis­in­for­ma­tion on the Ukraine War, that Chi­na has qui­et­ly built a net­work of social media per­son­al­i­ties and influ­encers who par­rot the government’s per­spec­tive in posts on Tik­Tok and oth­er social media, and that hun­dreds of cur­rent employ­ees at Tik­Tok and its par­ent com­pa­ny ByteDance pre­vi­ous­ly worked for Chi­nese state media pub­li­ca­tions and that some of them still do.

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