As TikTok continues to grow, so does worry that the app is being used to spread misinformation.
- TikTok continues to grow in popularity boasting around 750 million monthly users.
- The app is home to millions of short-length videos, but it is also home to a large amount of misinformation.
- Misinformation experts are worried that false videos on the app are distorting users’ reality and making them less likely to spot fake news.
Why it’s important
TikTok has been climbing in popularity since its inception in 2016 with its short-length videos.
The app was created for users to share entertaining short-length videos, but one thing that has been flooding the app is misinformation.
Users on the app have been creating fake videos and spreading false information which is very worrisome for misinformation experts.
Many social-media apps are filled with fake and heavily altered posts, but the thing about the TikTok videos that is worrying experts is how real the posts can look and how some people are using them to sow political division.
Many users on TikTok have been creating fake videos of politicians or heavily altering real videos to look or sound different from reality and spreading false information.
TikTok is flooded with so many videos that when users see the fake videos they are becoming less sensitized and are less likely to realize it is fake which alarms experts.
“This kind of manipulation is only becoming more pervasive,” said expert on manipulated and synthetic media, Henry Ajder.. “When this volume of content can be created so quickly and at such a scale, it completely changes the landscape.”
Another thing about TikTok is that it runs on a specific algorithm that is curated to each user. This means that when a user likes or interacts with one of these fake videos on the platform it will start giving them more videos that are similar which continues the spread of the false information.
TikTok has said that it is continuing to work to eradicate the spread of misinformation, but as the videos get better it is harder to find the fakes before they are widespread throughout the platform.