TikTok is now being used as a search engine, but study says 1 in 5 results contain misinformation

TikTok is now being used as a primary search engine, instead of Google, by young users looking for information.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently shared that “competition comes from nowhere,” referring to TikTok now becoming the search engine of choice by many young people when looking for information. Google’s own research saw that almost 40 percent of Gen Z users prefer TikTok or Instagram for search.

The short-form video app has risen to historic heights, becoming one of the most popular apps in recent history.

The trend is alarming, considering that according to one study, it was found that 1 in 5 search results on TikTok contain misinformation.

A study from Newsguard, a company that monitors misinformation on the internet, revealed that almost 20 percent of all search results on TikTok contain some form of misinformation. The study, however, is localized to the US, but it doesn’t mean that it is not happening elsewhere.

It should come as no surprise that TikTok is being used in this way. At one point in time, YouTube was regarded as one of the biggest search engines as well.

Unfortunately for TikTok users, there is much content on the platform that presents itself as plausible information that many believe without verifying if it is accurate or not. It is especially worrying, considering that in 2021, TikTok has surpassed Google as the most popular website in the world according to Cloudflare.

See also: How much mobile data does TikTok use?

In the US, TikTok has faced a lot of scrutiny over how it moderates its content, its data collection practices, and its ties to China. The short-form video app is owned and operated by ByteDance which is partially owned by the Chinese government. Despite this, TikTok is banned in China.

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Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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