TikTok Implements Prompts To Deter Users From Proliferating Misinformation

By 02/03/2021
TikTok Implements Prompts To Deter Users From Proliferating Misinformation

TikTok is introducing platform-wide prompts in a bid to clamp down on the spread of misinformation, which will instruct users to think twice before sharing clips that could contain falsities.

In a blog post, TikTok noted it already has measures in place to remove misinformation as determined by fact-checking partners PolitiFact, Lead Stories, and SciVerify. If fact-checks are inconclusive, however, TikTok says it may render clips ineligible for recommendation in its flagship ‘For You‘ feed.

Today, however, the company is going a step further by placing a banner on videos that have been reviewed by fact-checkers but cannot be conclusively validated. Now, if a viewer attempts to share a flagged video, they will receive a prompt reminding them that the content is unverified, with options to ‘cancel’ or ‘share anyway’. At the same time, creators will receive notifications that their videos have been flagged, TikTok says.

“We’ve designed this feature to help our users be mindful about what they share,” the company explained. “In fact, when we tested this approach, we saw viewers decrease the rate at which they shared videos by 24%, while likes on such unsubstantiated content also decreased by 7%.”

The prompts — designed and tested in collaboration with behavioral science lab Irrational Labs — are live today in the U.S. and Canada, and will roll out globally in coming weeks, TikTok said. The platform added that these efforts mark the latest step in its ongoing media literacy work, including a series of videos created in partnership with the National Association of Media Literacy Education.