(FiveNation.com)- An analysis conducted by NewsGuard discovered that users of TikTok are often presented with incorrect and deceptive results whenever they search to get information on current events of note.
According to a statement made by a spokeswoman for TikTok, the company’s Community Guidelines “make explicit that we do not tolerate harmful misinformation, including medical misinformation, and we will remove it from the platform.”
TikTok is coming under increasing criticism over the procedures it uses for moderation and data collecting, and these results from NewsGuard come at a time when this attention is rising.
More than 102 million videos were deleted from TikTok’s platform during the first three months of 2022 for infractions of the platform’s community standards. TikTok only deleted a fraction of these videos for breaking its “integrity and authenticity” criteria, which accounted for less than one percent of the total.
According to Cloudflare, TikTok overtook Google in 2021 to become the most popular website in the world. Yet, TikTok consistently provided videos containing misleading claims within its first twenty results and frequently within its first five results.
ByteDance, a Chinese internet giant that is in part controlled by the Chinese government, is the company that is responsible for both the ownership and operation of TikTok. After examining the results of 540 TikTok searches, NewsGuard discovered that 19.4 percent of the videos, or 105, included either inaccurate or misleading assertions. For instance, out of the top 20 search results for the keyword “2022 midterm,” twelve had very politicized language leaning to the left.
Within the first 20 videos that were retrieved in response to the search query “Was the 2020 election stolen?” there were six that included misleading allegations.
.According to NewsGuard’s investigation, millions of young users of TikTok are routinely given health disinformation, some of which may be harmful to them.
For instance, the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and tenth videos in a search for “mRNA vaccination” all had misleading information. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mayo Clinic, and other websites have links to papers describing how mRNA vaccines function in their search engine results. None of the links promoted COVID-19 claims that were inaccurate or deceptive.
With the slogan “TikTok Taught Me,” TikTok said in June, “there is no end to the information that may be found on TikTok.”