Is TikTok becoming Gen Z’s top news source?
Is TikTok your daily source of silly dances, funny jokes, and trendy news? According to the Pew Research Center, that statement is true for a quarter of Generation Z in the United States.
That may indicate a disturbing trend due to the platform’s negative effects. In response, you should learn more about it to safeguard against disinformation.
This article will discuss the Pew Research Center’s recent findings. More importantly, we will explain why TikTok news is often harmful and how you can protect yourself from it.
TikTok news in the United States
The Pew Research Center explained its recent findings on October 25, 2022. It says roughly a quarter of US adults under 30 use TikTok as a news source. Specifically, 26% said they frequently get news from this social media site. In contrast, only 10% of people aged 30 to 49 rely on TikTok news.
Only 4% of those 50 to 64 years old use it for that purpose. Lastly, only 1% of people aged 65 and up get news from TikTok. A third of TikTok users worldwide rely on it as a news source. Still, more people learn about the latest trends from Facebook and Twitter.
Why is TikTok news unreliable?
Tiffany Hsu, technology and disinformation reporter for the New York Times, explained why misinformation spreads quickly on TikTok. Hsu said that people could easily share fake news behind fake accounts. They could spread misinformation before people call them out.
TikTok could ban hashtags that mark fake news accounts. However, people could change letters into numbers to keep using the same codes. The social media company said it uses automated moderation assisted by human moderators. Yet, TikTok has not disclosed details about these features.
How do I avoid fake TikTok news?
TikTok has been implementing guidelines to fight fake news and maintain its image as a positive entertainment platform. For example, it recently banned US politicians from collecting donations from viewers. Moreover, their content cannot link to their political donation pages.
They cannot access the Creator Fund, tipping, gifting, and eCommerce features either. Also, TikTok enacted new policies like “mandatory verification” for these personalities.
Political parties, politicians, and governments must confirm their identities. However, a political fundraising ban is not enough. Users must do their part in avoiding fake news.
First, ensure that you receive news from reputable sources. TikTok lets news sites like CNN post on the platform, so you may want to follow those. Check the person sharing information online. Make sure that they have enough expertise to back their claims. More importantly, ensure that the account is not a bot.
Verify the sources of any TikTok news report. It should have links to other websites with more information. Make sure that the date of the news report is recent. Otherwise, its information might be too outdated to be useful.
Finally, check yourself. It is natural for people to have biases and attitudes that veer toward specific topics. Still, we must know when emotions compel our viewpoints to make the right choices.
More people now rely on TikTok news. According to recent research, more than a fourth of US adults below 30 use it as a news source. The platform has been taking steps to combat misinformation. However, users must also do their part.
Know how to spot fake news to prevent being manipulated. The best thing to do is to follow reputable news sources like Inquirer USA. It provides the latest news and updates about various topics worldwide.