According to research, TikTok gives false information about Covid-19 to children who have newly registered on the platform. Anti-vaccine videos stand out.
Developed by ByteDance, TikTok has caught a rapid rise. However, the impact of the practice on children and young people has been the subject of debate in many countries. Finally, according to new reports, it was claimed that the platform showed anti-vaccine videos to young children.
Researchers said that all users under the age of 18, due to the TikTok algorithm, have encountered videos that do not reflect the truth about Covid-19 and the vaccine process from the moment they registered for the application. He says that even though the app is restricted to users under the age of 13, children continue to use the platform, easily lying about their age.
Why is TikTok promoting anti-vaccine videos?
According to the latest reports from media review company NewsGuard, the research found that eight out of nine children who downloaded the app were given false information about Covid-19 and the vaccine. Similarly, when looking at the overall results, it was revealed that two out of three participants were exposed to erroneous information about both the disease and drugs.
NewsGuard UK editor-in-chief Alex Cadier said in an interview with The Guardian:
We must not allow TikTok to provide false anti-vaccine information to its users. This may lead to dangerous consequences in the future. The app says it takes action against misinformation. However, the number of people who advertise anti-Covid-19 and fake medicine is increasing day by day. TikTok also turns a blind eye to this situation.
How does TikTok target children?
Working in August and September, NewsGuard asked children between the ages of 9 and 17 from different cultures to create a TikTok account. Although the app provides restricted access under the age of 13, users between the ages of 9 and 13 were able to open an account without the help of their parents. According to Statista, another research firm, 25 percent of TikTok’s 130 million monthly active users in the United States are children aged 9 to 10.
Struggling with erroneous information on the TikTok platform, University of Illinois lecturer Dr. In an interview with Insider, Katrine Wallace said, “The TikTok team is deliberately very clumsy when it comes to removing anti-vaccine and misinformation videos about Covid-19. They even let these videos stand out, displaying them in the popular content list. That’s why people of all ages are exposed, whether they’re children or adults,” he said.
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