Categories: CoronavirusTechnology

TikTok awash with COVID-19 conspiracy theories

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A viral dance hit is taking TikTok by storm, and fringe conspiracy theorists are connecting it to the spread of COVID-19.

TikTok is an emerging platform for short viral videos. As such, it is full of viral dance hits. However, the platform has been recently awash with unproven conspiracy theories about the spread of COVID-19.

What is even more alarming is the fact that these videos are racking up hundreds of thousands of views. This recent development came in a time when TikTok promises that it will curb the spread of such unproven theories.

Anti-vaxxers, COVID-19 conspiracy

Anti-vaccine supporters and fringe conspiracy theorists commonly lurk in platforms like YouTube and Facebook. However, as these two platforms start to ban these kinds of contents, this fringe group starts to look for alternatives.

TikTok is an emerging platform in the vast social media landscape. The platform’s recipe is simple: limit the video duration of all posts. This led to the creation of dance hits and other viral contents.

Recently, one particular content is enjoying a surge of popularity: conspiracy theories. One particular user claims that the government is using mind control machines to derail the COVID-19 research. Some users are claiming that the virus is not as deadly as what the government wants to project.

Experts believe that these fringe conspiracy theories are affecting the way people think. Specifically, it affects how people think about the actions of the government.

Monash University professor of media studies has this to say:

“These theories don’t work well in contemplative, deliberative contexts. They make no sense.”

A fight against misleading content

Recently, TikTok made a pledge to curb the spread of these misleading contents on its platform. Following the rise of COVID-19 in January, the platform made a number of changes on its community guidelines. It also started to delete and take down misleading contents, especially those that are medical in nature.

Despite these efforts, COVID-19 conspiracy theories continue to flourish. Some users are even encouraging others to storm their hospitals in order to reveal the true nature of the pandemic. Because of this, TikTok morphs as the ground zero of the #filmyourhospital movement.

Medical experts are discouraging people to storm hospitals, as they might endanger not only themselves but others as well. Moreover, experts are encouraging people to instead stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Regardless, conspiracy theorists continue to produce viral videos on TikTok. Some experts are raising alarm over this particular issue claiming that it is endangering the entire human race.

Image courtesy of Kon Karampelas/Unsplash

Yen Palec

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Yen Palec

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