The New York Times reported that Gen Z users have begun using TiokTok as their primary search engine as opposed to Google. According to a NewsGuard report, this can be troublesome news as nearly 20% of videos presented as search results contain misinformation on serious topics.
“This means that for searches on topics ranging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to school shootings and COVID vaccines, users of this social network systematically receive false and misleading claims,” NewsGuard wrote.
Furthermore, the study identified that TikTok is known for recommending controversial topics/videos to its users, which are looking for entertaining content. For example, if a user chooses to search “climate change”, the suggested topic will most likely be “climate change does not exist.”
Amid the report, a TikTok spokesperson told CNN that its community guidelines “make clear that we do not allow harmful misinformation, including medical misinformation, and we will remove it from the platform. We partner with credible voices to elevate authoritative content on topics related to public health and partner with independent fact-checkers who help us to assess the accuracy of content.”