TikTok Ukraine War Videos Raise Questions About Spread of Misinformation

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TikTok and different social media platforms are additionally below strain from U.S. lawmakers and Ukrainian officers to curb Russian misinformation concerning the conflict, particularly from state-backed media retailers corresponding to Russia In the present day and Sputnik. In response, YouTube has stated it could block Russia In the present day and Sputnik within the European Union, whereas Twitter and Meta, the mother or father of Fb, have stated they’d label content material from the retailers as state sponsored.

TikTok has additionally banned Sputnik and Russia In the present day within the E.U., however has not labeled the retailers as state-sponsored within the nations the place they’re nonetheless accessible. The app stated on Thursday that it had devoted extra sources to monitoring for deceptive content material concerning the conflict.

“We proceed to answer the conflict in Ukraine with elevated security and safety sources to detect rising threats and take away dangerous misinformation,” stated Hilary McQuaide, a TikTok spokeswoman.

For years, TikTok largely escaped sustained scrutiny about its content material. Not like Fb, which has been round since 2004, and YouTube, which was based in 2005, TikTok solely grew to become broadly used prior to now 5 years. Owned by China’s ByteDance, the app was designed to make one- to three-minute movies straightforward to create and share. It developed a fame as a vacation spot for addictive, foolish and enjoyable movies, particularly for younger customers.

The app has navigated some controversies prior to now. It has confronted questions over dangerous fads that appeared to originate on its platform, in addition to whether or not it permits underage customers and adequately protects their privateness.

However the conflict in Ukraine has supersized the problems dealing with TikTok, which has over one billion customers globally.

The quantity of conflict content material on the app far outweighs what’s discovered on another social networks, based on a overview by The Instances. Movies with the hashtag #Ukrainewar have amassed almost 500 million views on TikTok, with among the hottest movies gaining shut to 1 million likes. In distinction, the #Ukrainewar hashtag on Instagram had 125,000 posts and the most well-liked movies have been considered tens of 1000’s of occasions.

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