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Report shows 20 percent misinformation rate on TikTok

Report shows 20 percent misinformation rate on TikTok

report by fact-checking firm NewsGuard claims that 20 per cent of TikTok search results is misinformation. However, the report also notes that the video-sharing platform has some checks in place, which is likely not enough.

The research included 540 videos on the platform, of which 105 gave misleading info to viewers. One of the searches it entered was for hydroxychloroquine and in second place on the results was a video of a young woman touting the drug as being able to cure anything.

Also, in the same search result, four videos in the top 20 encourage viewers to make their version of the drug.

You may recall that hydroxychloroquine caused lots of headaches during the pandemic’s early days after claims that it could fight the virus. So, it is concerning that after several medical authorities warned against abusing the drug, these kinds of videos pop up at the top of TikTok’s search results.

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Of course, the videos don’t mention COVID, but they encourage people to make it themselves at home and use it. Which is a recipe for disaster as drugs are made in a lab and taken as prescribed by doctors.

Another category that caused concern during the research was the search results for prominent news topics. Several of the videos contained false claims and outright misinformation.

TikTok claims to be doing everything it can to check misinformation. It has banned the posting of political campaign ads and says that in the first quarter of 2022 alone, it removed 102 million videos that violated its Community Guidelines.

The company claims to have an AI that vets all new videos and either takes them down when it finds a problem or sends them to human moderators.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.