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TikTok’s Algorithm is Spreading Misinformation About Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, New Study Reveals

Misinformation is one of the biggest problems that social media is facing. Their algorithms tend to give users exactly the kind of content that they might be interested in, but this can create a positive feedback loop that can result in said users existing within some kind of an ideological bubble with no way to break out of it. Many of these users tend to see a huge amount of misinformation due to how these algorithms are designed.

That’s obviously dangerous because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing misinformation to spread a lot more quickly, and a new study conducted by NewsGuard has revealed that TikTok’s algorithm might be showing users fake news and misinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. NewsGuard is an organization that is dedicated to fighting the spread of misinformation online, and with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that their study has shown the role that TikTok might have to play in such matters.

The thing is, TikTok’s algorithm might be truly broken since even a brand new account that has no usage history that will determine what content the algorithm might show to them are often directed to accounts that are spreading fake news about the war. The tests that these researchers conducted involved scrolling through the For You feed which shows suggested and recommended videos, and they were shown misinformation related video content in less than forty minutes when going through this feed with a brand new account.

This is something that reveals just how broken these algorithms are, and while many other social media platforms have taken steps to reduce the prevalence of misinformation and stem its spread, TikTok has clearly not taken the appropriate number of steps in this regard. It is high time that social media platforms are held accountable for the role that they play in how thoroughly misinformed society is about matters that are relevant to the world and have a bearing on their way of life as well.


Read next: Is the highly cherished social network TikTok at the end of it’s rope?

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