The U.S. is preparing for the midterm elections, and all kinds of false information are rampant on the internet. Experts have found that Tik Tok is the most feared breeding ground for misinformation among all social media platforms.

According to Radio France International, more than one-fourth of adult Americans aged 18 to 29 regularly get their news from Tik Tok. But, according to an analysis by NewsGuard, many of these news stories are invalid.

The ads were produced by the nonprofit Global Witness and a group of researchers at New York University to test various social platforms. The team made fake commercials to try on TikTok, and 90% of the time, they were approved for listing.

Jon Lloyd, a senior researcher for Global Witness, was shocked by the results. He pointed out that TikTok is the worst at crushing disinformation among all major social platforms. 

Although TikTok posted guidelines for using the platform during U.S. elections in late September, including combating misinformation, Lloyd questioned its effectiveness. He said just having a policy doesn’t mean it will act on it.

In fact, in 2019, TikTok banned political ads containing false information, but experts have come through ads urging people not to vote.

In the Philippines, TikTok was accused of helping current president Bongbong Marcos, the former dictator’s son, to win his bid. 

In Germany, TikTok accounts impersonate parliament and public officials. 

In Kenya, TikTok is a den of propaganda, hate speech and misinformation.

Matt Navarra is an expert on social media. He said that the large number of videos on TikTok exposes the average user, especially younger people who are more impressionable, to potentially divisive, polarizing, offensive stuff.

Jack Brewster, a senior analyst at NewsGuard, said that many young users of TikTok have little experience in fact-checking information they find on the platform, which effectively threatens the democratic process. 

Brewster said, “If young people are searching for election news on the platform, the videos are inherently short, so context is often lost.

“There’s little to no information often about the sources.”

Experts say that the format of TikTok posts facilitates creating misinformation, making it very hard for people to tell fact from fiction. 

Matt Navarra, a social media expert, said, “It’s very quick, very easy, very simple to create content and to build a substantial following.”

Posts are short, highly edited, and often contain music, subtitles, and voiceovers. 

Analysts said that the text is very misleading.

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