Author Archives: sxndywu


Over the years, technology has made significant advancements and continues to strive for betterment in enhancing people’s lives. Today, having an online presence, whether it’s active or passive, has become an essential part of our existence. With the integration of technology in daily life, it has become more effortless to perform everyday tasks. Many traditional activities, particularly the way we receive information and connect with one another, have shifted online.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and others have become many people’s primary source of information because news can be swiftly shared and the platform allows users to voice their opinions easily. According to Cetina Presuel and Martínez Sierra (2019), these social platforms are major players in the concentrated online news market and have significant control over the distribution of information to their users as well as over the organizations and individuals that generate it. It follows that the prevalence of misinformation has emerged as a significant concern due to the freedom of expression allowed with little to no regulations on media that can be instantly shared worldwide. 

These major social platforms operate using unique algorithms that tailor content to the users’ interests and facilitate content sharing with like-minded individuals. TikTok is notorious for its algorithm. Many of the Tiktok stars, like Bella Poarch and Charli D’Amelio are known to have risen to fame after one of their videos randomly went viral as a result of the algorithm.

The Plaid Press, a student-run publication blog published by the advanced journalism class at Granada Hills Charter High School, has published a post called “Tiktok needs to stop” by Crystal Earls who expresses her concern with Tiktok stars who randomly rose to fame. In her post, Earls specifically highlights Lil Huddy and describes him “like others in the TikTok community, [who] has achieved [their] internet fame for no reasons other than shallow over-sexualization and his production of talentless, unoriginal content”. Earls has worded it better than I ever could because this is exactly how many of us think about Tiktok stars, especially those who may be the same age. Earls’ post raises a common concern that “Teenagers hardly know how to do things themselves most of the time, so to think that they are setting an example to tons of others across the world is unnerving and scary”.

Tkhostov et al.(2022) discovered that “false [information]” are totally social constructions, since the data indicate that we tend to trust information that matches with our preexisting beliefs, attitudes, and representations. As a result, there’s a growing concern stemming from the belief that individuals who come across fake news may not be exposed to real news that would encourage them to scrutinize the reliability of the information (Nelson & Taneja, 2018). With fake news consists of false news, polarized content, satire, misreporting, commentary, persuasive information, and citizen journalism (Molina et al., 2019), filters used to regulate posts are useless when the content is coded with other terms relating to anything that would otherwise be banned.  

So how can we combat this phenomenon?

To progress in this direction, the initial action should involve enhancing digital literacy and fostering critical thinking. In the current era, the most effective approach to promote and boost digital literacy and critical thinking is by creating educational content such as posts or videos that align with current trends. Ensuring active participation of students in the learning process will facilitate thorough comprehension and application of the information to their daily lives. 

Having said that, it is equally important for users to take a proactive measure of reporting fake news. Mere disregard of such falsity by scrolling past it may inadvertently worsen the problem as the misinformation could reach someone who lacks the ability to discern its inaccuracy, thus leading to the acceptance of incorrect information. However, I acknowledge that although some users report content, the platform may not deem the content to have violated their guidelines. It is quite discouraging especially since it is an extra step that often asks for details that need some time to fill out. Hence, platforms need to accurately review the content reported in order to encourage reporting and combat the spread of lies and harmful information without becoming overly censorious. 


Cetina Presuel, R., & Martínez Sierra, J. M. (2019). Algorithms and the News: Social Media Platforms as News Publishers and Distributors. Revista de Comunicación, 2, 261–285.

Earl, C. (2020, February 21). TikTok needs to stop. The Plaid Press; The Plaid Press.

Molina, M. D., Sundar, S. S., Le, T., & Lee, D. (2019). “Fake News” Is Not Simply False Information: A Concept Explication and Taxonomy of Online Content. American Behavioral Scientist, 2, 180–212.

Nelson, J. L., & Taneja, H. (2018). The small, disloyal fake news audience: The role of audience availability in fake news consumption. New Media & Society, 10, 3720–3737.

Tkhostov, A. Sh., Rikel, A. M., & Vialkova, M. Ye. (2022). Fake News through the Eyes of Three Generations of Russians: Differences and Similarities in Social Representations. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 1, 83–102.