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TikTok’s algorithm displays far-right content to users – whistleblowing

The TikTok content recommendation algorithms are the secret to the platform’s success, but they hide risks that should not be taken lightly: The latest alarm has been raised by the association Media Matters for America, according to which the TikTok users run the real risk of being subjected to increasingly far-right content , also from organizations that played a role in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol .

The revelation is the result of experiments that members of the association have carried out on the platform, and which relate to the behavior of the For you page and recommended accounts . TikTok’s For You page tests users’ interests to offer them content that reflects their interests, but by probing user preferences – denounces Media Matters for America – it also offers content from extremist organizations such as Three Percenter, QAnon , Patriot Party and Oath Keeper. . All of these players have regularly spread disinformation on topics such as the 2020 US election, but are still being pushed by the platform as authors of potentially interesting content.https://c8c71f2ba92ec2e394a8b6de17aa5c85.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The problem is that the For page autonomously offers you tiktok which users they can never approach independently . The platform acts in the hope that the videos will spark viewer interest and result in more time spent in the app – but the consequences of this strategy can be serious. If subscribers enjoy content from one of the organizations – continues Media Matters for America – the platform finds itself recommending other videos from other subjects close to right-wing extremism, sending users “into a tunnel. unending”.

TikTok’s official position is that extremisms and conspiracies should not have space on the platform: months ago, it imposed a crackdown on content related to Qanon’s conspiracy theorists, and even the direct search for them. keywords related to the mentioned associations will result in an error message. On the other hand – at least according to the report published in recent days – from this point of view the platform still has its work cut out for it.

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