Hoaxes and false information have posed a problem for the platform in the wake of recent protests and the coronavirus pandemic
TikTok, like many huge social media platforms, is fertile ground for conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and fake information, which can be spread between users with a single click without clear ways to check facts or verify sources. Now, the short-form video app is sharing tips in an attempt to combat this misinformation.
The video series advises users on how to evaluate the content they consume. Notable tips include questioning sources, following up on broken links, sorting objective facts from opinions, and questioning your own bias.
Multiple well-known TikTokers feature in short clips and sketches illustrating the issues, including @shreksdumpster, @gabe, @cosette, @chemteacherphil, and the Pomeranian @hi_im_chewie, that each have millions of followers.
After viral coronavirus hoaxes and conspiracy theories blew up across TikTok at the beginning of the year, the World Health Organisation also joined the platform to set things straight about the pandemic. (Read Dazed’s guide to stopping the spread of coronavirus misinformation here.)
Social media platforms have also provided breeding grounds for misinformation in the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests. TikTok specifically came under fire for issues surrounding its tags related to Black Lives Matter and George Floyd, although it has also been used to mobilise support for the movement and stage online protests.
The recent video series comes amid reports of a potential, Donald Trump-backed TikTok ban in the US due to claims of security concerns, which would follow a similar move in India. Watch some of the misinformation PSAs below.
Learn helpful guidelines on how to spread information. Don’t unknowingly spread false info! ##tiktoktips♬ original sound - tiktoktips
Double-check dubious graphics and learn to do a little investigating for yourself ##tiktoktips♬ original sound - tiktoktips
Learn how you might be biased toward certain kinds of info ##tiktoktips♬ original sound - tiktoktips