TikTok, the app filled with dance challenges, filters, and… politics? You might have a video discussing the dismantling of the electoral college pop up in your feed, polished off with a catchy beat.
Political content on TikTok helps get young people informed, but it runs the risk of easily spreading misinformation.
In August, TikTok broadened its approach to combating false information. The company started offering in-app information on videos on topics like the election or COVID-19.
Another measure the company has taken is making some content unsearchable. For example, if you search “Qanon” in hopes of some conspiracy theories, you’ll be met with a pop up saying “The phrase may be associated with behavior or content that violates our guidelines.” It then prompts you to look at their community guidelines.
While this is a step towards stopping the spread of bad information, it’s not perfect. Videos with the unsearchable hashtags are still promoted into the user’s feed.
The “For You” page creates an endless cycle of content catered to your interests. If someone starts getting recommended videos with misinformation, they’ll be stuck in an endless loop of similar content.
It’s important to do your own research on any “facts” that are shared on all social medias, and TikTok is no exception. The fun, short videos found there can be a great starting point for learning, but don’t stop there.