The ‘Sounds' feature on TikTok is being exploited to promote false information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine

According to TikTok, they have originally restricted the dissemination of clips via Sound instead of removing it entirely. As per a recent analysis from a team of researchers, a TikTok facility that permits users to insert other individual's voice in their videos is seems to be exploited to spread inaccurate and damaging material regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, located in London, examined 124 pieces of content that repurposed audio from four genuine TikTok videos, two of which were banned by the site for violating its COVID disinformation guidelines. These videos were found spreading misleading information and creating tensions about vaccine side effects among people. And over 20 million people watched the 124 videos.

However, some videos are still left that can possibly spread to different users, an expert Ciaran O'Connor said. He compared the propagation of misinformation via TikTok's "Sounds" tool to the widespread use of WhatsApp audio messaging throughout the pandemic. TikTok is known for its viral trends, in which users make their unique clips by improvising on the similar song or voice snippet. The social media video site, which exploded in popularity in the pandemic, claimed that it examines the audio of video clips that violated the rules and may restrict other users from using the audio as Sounds.

It stated that human post monitoring faults were at blame for these incidents. Sounds could also be filed through the app, according to the description. ISD discovered sound of one video featuring a user claiming that the COVID vaccine's rapid production rendered it hazardous and making false parallels to other illnesses. It was noted that this audio is utilized in over 4,500 videos.

TikTok added that they had already blocked the circulation of clips employing this Sound instead of fully deleting it because it was only thought to be possibly deceptive. Despite this, the leading 25 videos featuring on this Sound's TikTok page have received around 16.7 million views.

Majority of the clips, according to ISD, incorporated sound to show unity for said message. On evaluating the report's results, TikTok stated it had removed a few of the videos that used the Sound and managed to make the Sound feature harder to discover in searches. It also got rid of the three additional Sounds that were mentioned in the report.

As said by a TikTok representative, their aim is to promote a genuine TikTok environment by preventing the distribution of incorrect material, particularly audio. They try their best to spread reliable information regarding COVID-19 and vaccines within the platform.

Just two out of 124 videos contained tags linking to authentic COVID data, reported by ISD. The reason for this, according to the firm, is that captions have only been applied to videos with certain hashtags. The other week, TikTok unveiled modifications to its content controlling procedures for some classifications, including brutality and harsh or explicit content, transitioning to completely automated reviewing methods.

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