From the time of the invention of social media, it affected different aspects of life, be it social or personal. It has also changed the contemporary scene of politics as stating one’s personal opinion and expressing a particular viewpoint has not been as easy as the earlier times when there was no access to social sites and an easily reachable audience. For instance, Facebook still witnesses its share of posts that are often political succeeded by Twitter and other social networking sites. However, the new addition to this concern is the video-sharing platform named Tiktok where youngsters are creating videos to voice their political preference and judgement.
Nonetheless, there have been many ill-usages of these platforms as it takes no time to spread unverified news and rumours to its wide-spread audience and users. Currently, Tiktok has also been scrutinised as a vast medium to spread misinformation ahead of the upcoming election season in the United States. A video has been making rounds in the app falsely claiming that the U.S Constitution allows an impeached president to run his office for two more years until there is a conviction by the Senate which received tens of thousands of views before it was removed by the app developer. Nicholas Beauchamp, an assistant professor of Political Science at Northeastern said, “Though the platform doesn’t seem to be inherently suited for political content, it could be susceptible to the spread of misinformation.”
The main consumers of Tiktok are the young generation as it is a lot easier to create viral content relative to the other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so the misinformation spread unabated. In another perspective, Beauchamp noticed that the news that goes viral does not depend on whether it is true or false but is entertaining to the consumer. So he mused that the concern around young people spreading false news can be groundless as he cited one of his colleagues, David Lazer’s work, which showed that the older and conservative people were responsible to unfurl rumours and misinformation during the last election.