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    TikTok's algorithm aggressively pushes harmful content to teens, study finds

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    TikTok's algorithm aggressively pushes harmful content to teens, study finds

    Millions of teenagers around the world are immersed in the world of TikTok, a popular social media platform that researchers are increasingly concerned about. A study conducted by the non-profit Center for Countering Digital Hate revealed alarming findings about TikTok's algorithm, which continuously bombards young users with potentially harmful content. The study set up test accounts posing as 13-year-old girls in various countries, and discovered that within minutes of browsing, content related to eating disorders and self-harm was being aggressively pushed to the users, with harmful material interspersed with stories of recovery and support. TikTok's focus on visual representation and comparison is particularly concerning for the well-being of teenage girls. Despite TikTok's claims of regularly removing harmful content and consulting with health experts, the study sheds light on the dark side of the app's influence on its young user base.

    Keywords

    TikTok, algorithm, harmful content, teenagers, study, social media, eating disorders, self-harm, visual representation, comparison, well-being, removal of content

    FAQ

    1. How did the Center for Countering Digital Hate's study reveal concerning findings about TikTok's algorithm? The study found that TikTok aggressively pushes potentially harmful content such as eating disorder and self-harm related material to young users within minutes of browsing, with harmful material mixed with stories of recovery and support.

    2. Why is TikTok's focus on visual representation and comparison particularly concerning for teenage girls? Platforms like TikTok, which emphasize visual comparison, have been shown to have negative effects on users, especially teenage girls, who may find themselves comparing their appearances and lives to others, leading to potential harm to their well-being.

    3. How does TikTok respond to the study's findings? TikTok has disputed the study's findings, claiming that the activity described does not reflect the genuine behavior of users. They state that they consult with health experts, remove violations of their policies, and provide resources to those in need, while also mentioning that they regularly remove harmful content if it violates community guidelines.

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