Anti-vaccine TikTok movies being considered tens of millions of occasions by youngsters as younger as 9 

Lies and conspiracy theories about Covid-19, which have been viewed millions of times and are accessible to young children, have been available on the TikTok social media platform for months.

TikTok accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers discouraging vaccinations and spreading myths about Covid survival rates have been exposed by NewsGuard, an organization that monitors misinformation online.

NewsGuard said it published its findings in June and sent them to the UK government and the World Health Organization (WHO), but the content stayed on the platform.

The reveal comes amid renewed concerns about the impact social media is having on young people after reports that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, had internal investigations that showed its app harmed teenagers.

As part of its investigation, NewsGuard said that although TikTok only allowed full access to the app to people aged 13 and over, children were able to access the content as young as nine years old.

Three participants in the organization’s investigation, who were under the age of 13, were able to create accounts in the app by entering fake dates of birth.

TikTok tells The guard It worked diligently to take action against content and accounts that were spreading misinformation.

Some of the accounts that. were seen The guard had posted individual videos with Covid misinformation that had attracted up to 9.2 million views.

The misinformation included false comments about side effects of certain brands of Covid vaccines and misleading comparisons between Covid survival rates and vaccine effectiveness rates.

NewsGuard’s Alex Cadier said, “TikTok’s failure to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation in its app is untenable and verges on dangerous.”

Despite claims to crack down on misinformation, the app still allows anti-vaccine content and health hoaxes to spread relatively freely.

“This is made worse by the fact that the more anti-vaccine content children have, the more anti-vaccine content they will be shown.

“They say they removed 30,000 videos with Covid-19 misinformation in the first quarter of 2021, which is a good move, but how many are left?

“How many views from those who deleted it? Who shared it Where did it spread? Where did they come from?

“How many users are most likely to see misinformation when viewing Covid-19-related content?”

On Friday the Financial Times reported that an investigation by the digital rights charity 5Rights had alleged that dozens of tech companies, including TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, violated the UK’s new Children’s Code, which protects children’s privacy online.

A quarter of TikTok’s 130 million monthly active users in the US were between the ages of 10 and 19 as of March 2021, and nearly half of the total number of users were under 30, data company Statista reported.

In Great Britain, according to Statista, 24% of all users are under 25 years of age.

TikTok has begun to eclipse other established social media platforms in popularity after surpassing YouTube in average view time for Android users in the US and the UK, according to app analytics firm App Annie.

TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world in 2020, reported App Annie.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, an internet conglomerate based in China.

A TikTok spokesperson said, “Our community guidelines make it clear that we do not allow any medical misinformation, including misinformation regarding Covid-19 vaccines.

The debate about younger people and their interactions with social media platforms rekindled last month after it was revealed that Instagram knew through internal research that its app was damaging the mental health of some teenage girls.

Facebook has described the revelations, published in The Wall Street Journal after a document leak by the whistleblower Frances Haugen as a “misrepresentation” of her work.

The documents include a poll that estimated that 30% of teenage girls felt that Instagram made their body dissatisfaction worse.

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