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TikTok’s Search Engine Pumps Toxic Misinformation To Its Young Users

NewsGuard: “[A] NewsGuard investigation found that for a sampling of searches on prominent news topics, almost 20 percent of the videos presented as search results contained misinformation. This means that for searches on topics ranging from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to school shootings and COVID vaccines, TikTok’s users are consistently fed false and misleading claims. Asked for comment about these findings, a TikTok spokesperson said that TikTok’s 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.” According to TikTok’s publicly available Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, in the first quarter of 2022, TikTok removed more than 102 million videos for violating its Community Guidelines. Less than one percent of these were removed for violating TikTok’s “integrity and authenticity” guidelines — which, according to TikTok’s Community Guidelines, includes “harmful misinformation,” defined as “misinformation that causes significant harm to individuals, our community, or the larger public regardless of intent.” …

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