TikTok Search Results Contain Significant Levels of Misinformation, Says Report

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Sep 19, 2022


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An investigation found that nearly 20% of videos offered in search results contained misinformation.

Less Accurate Than Google

TikTok is rapidly growing as a source of information for young people who prefer it over traditional outlets. However, this comes with significant consequences, as an investigative report has found. 

According to new research by NewsGuard, users of the addictive video-sharing app are “consistently fed false and misleading claims”.

NewsGuard is a journalism and technology tool that rates the credibility of news and info websites and tracks online misinformation. 

It searched for major news topics on TikTok’s search engines and compared them to the results from Google. It found that TikTok “repeatedly delivered videos containing false claims in the first 20 results, often within the first five.” 

“Google, by comparison, provided higher-quality and less polarizing results, with far less misinformation.”

Statistics show that people view more than one billion videos on the fast-growing platform daily.

“No Tolerance for Misinformation”

NewsGuard contacted TikTok and asked for comments. 

A spokesperson responded that its Community Guidelines “make clear that we do not allow harmful misinformation, including medical misinformation, and we will remove it from the platform”.

The company’s rep added that it partners with “credible voices” and “independent fact-checkers” to promote authoritative content.

Those Community Guidelines disclose that TikTok removed more than 102 million videos in Q1 of 2022 alone.



Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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