HomeDevelopersYoung people use Tiktok as a search engine instead of Google

Young people use Tiktok as a search engine instead of Google

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Tiktoken instead of googling: Young people are looking for answers in short videos. This can be dangerous with DIY pre-milk and abortion herbs.

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Tiktok as a search engine – this seems to be widespread among young people and is still spreading. The New York Times has already reported on the trend, now Business Insider is picking up a study that every fifth search result on Tiktok contains false information. And they can even be dangerous.

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The investigation comes from NewsGuard, a US coalition of journalists and media companies that want to uncover and fight disinformation. The top 20 search results on Tiktok were analyzed for 27 different subject areas – from “election 2022” to “mRNA vaccine”. In addition to the misinformation, it also showed that the results supported a bias. When searching for the terms “corona and vaccine”, Tiktok suggested also searching for something like “corona vaccine truth”.

The danger of false information in Tiktok videos is particularly evident in a high number of videos in which do-it-yourself pre-milk is made, Business Insider quoted NewsGuard as saying. In the USA there are always bottlenecks in deliveries of breast milk substitutes. According to doctors, however, homemade milk is very dangerous to health. Herbal mixtures that are supposed to lead to abortions were also discussed in Tiktok videos after “Roe vs. Wade” was overturned and abortions were classified as illegal in many states.

While Google is constantly trying to improve search results – in terms of reliable sources and helpful answers – Tiktok is also working to hide or delete videos that do not comply with the guidelines. Those that can be dangerous are of course included. A Tiktok spokesperson told NewsGuard that the platform’s community guidelines “clarify that we do not allow harmful misinformation, including medical misinformation, and are removing it from the platform.” In addition, they work with independent fact checkers and cooperate with credible people to highlight reliable content. Artificial intelligence scans videos that are uploaded.

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However, the problem of finding often still snags. And with a particularly high level of credibility. Because young people repeatedly state in surveys that they particularly trust so-called influencers or creators, and they also play a major role in their buying behavior. Videos on Tiktok may therefore enjoy a higher level of trust than some websites that Google suggests. Youtube videos should meet a similar phenomenon. However, they were not examined.


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