Top 7 worst urban legends seen on TikTok

In September 2022, NewsGuard publishes investigation on misinformation about Tikotk. The publication begins with a clear and precise warning message, in bold and large print: Beware of the ‘new Google‘: TikTok’s search engine sends toxic misinformation to its young users. According to the results obtained on a sample of searches mainly oriented on important current topics, nearly 20% of the videos published contain erroneous or even completely false information. 20% is huge. Obviously, we won’t mention them all, since that would easily lead to a top 10,000, but let’s take a look at the biggest fake phenomena of the moment on the platform. To remind you that you should not believe everything that circulates online!

1. Baby milk powder kidnapping attempts

This is the latest rumor that has agitated the web: “Organ trafficking rings lure their victims by using women, who stop them in the street to ask them to buy powdered milk, then take them to dark places”.

The alert spread on Tiktok like wildfire after “Nature”, a 21-year-old young woman, posted a video of her telling that, at St Charles station in Marseille, a mother who was begging him allegedly asked to follow her to a pharmacy to buy milk for her child, but eventually led her to a hidden and rather gloomy place. A scene that the “victim” saw as an “attempted kidnapping”. Facts that remain however imprecise and difficult to verify. The police headquarters, however, indicates that it has not received any complaint or finding on this subject.

Too late on the Tiktok side, the video quickly exceeds 2 million views! In search of buzz, the trolls multiply and tell how a kidnapping would have taken place before their eyes in the same station, then the psychosis spreads to other cities in France: “victims” tell how they experienced the same thing in Paris or Lyons. Today, however, no evidence, complaint, handbook or video can prove this.

A video of a young woman recounting having been the victim of an attempted kidnapping at Saint-Charles station made the…

Posted by Mediapart on Monday, October 17, 2022

2. Bad contraception/abortion advice

The rollback of the right to abortion in the USA is a disaster. Among the side effects of this return to the Middle Ages in terms of law and freedom: the dissemination, on Tiktok, of false “homemade” techniques to prevent pregnancy, unfortunately more dangerous than effective. The hashtag #naturalbirthcontrol has accumulated more than 33 million views on the platform, proof of the growing interest of women in the issue. The problem is that the advice given does not come from doctors, gynecologists, or people in the medical profession, but more from “coaches”, “menstrual cycle and fertility experts”, without a diploma or any recognition by an authority. Among the methods: the Ogino, which simply consists of following your cycle and determining your ovulation dates. It is unreliable, but not dangerous to health.

More problematic: abortion techniques using plants. “Abortive infusions”, as they are named in number on the platform. Here, the phenomenon is all the more worrying. In addition to their ineffectiveness, these herbal teas with pennyroyal or mugwort can also and above all prove to be fatal for consumers. Do not relay these messages. They are in no way secure solutions, on the contrary. These leaves can prove to be particularly toxic.

3. The magic recipe for hydroxychloroquine

Another “grandmother’s remedy / homemade-recipe-to-the-con”: this mixture based on grapefruit zest and lemons, presented in many videos as “hydroxychloroquine”. You do not know what it is ? Well according to the people who give away the secrets on the web, it’s simply “The cure for all diseases”. Capable of curing Covid like cancer. WELL OF COURSE. Thousands of researchers, millions of deaths, decades of research, when all it took was a detox juice to cure cancer. IT IS COMPLETELY CREDIBLE, YES. Hydroxychloroquine is a drug, established in a controlled laboratory, distributed only by prescription, and prescribed in particular to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

4. Several theories questioning the killing of dozens of people

They abound on the platform, for dozens and dozens of current events. For example, conspiracy videos were relayed on Tiktok, to deny the shooting of the Robb primary school in Uvalde (Texas) which nevertheless left 21 people dead in May 2022, including 19 children.

Same thing with the War in Ukraine. A NewsGuard analyst points out that by searching for “Bucha” in the search bar, early content claims the massacre was staged and no civilians were killed by Russian bullets. In fact, and according to reports by news agencies and human rights groups, more than 300 Ukrainian civilians died there. NGOs and States also denounce a war crime.

5. The false lives of Ukrainian civilians

In the same vein, do not believe all the “live” videos you can see on the Russian-Ukrainian war: some malicious people are broadcasting fake images to scam you. Users keep it simple: they grab dramatic videos from a past conflict or military exercise, dub the sound, add explosion or gunfire sounds, start a live broadcast, and then call for donations. In mid-March, one such troll account had garnered 30 million views, thanks to images taken from a Youtube video, featuring Ukrainian military training in 2017. Beware of reusing images.

6. The Time Traveler

@radianttimetraveller is known on Tiktok as a “time traveler from 2671”. Eno Alaric, his real name, uses his account to “prevent future events” and offers 8 of his subscribers to travel with him into the future, to become aware of the chaos that awaits us. Do I really need to explain to you why this is not ultra-reliable as a speech?

7. People infected with monkeypox walking around the NYC subway

The hoax began circulating and gaining momentum this summer after footage of a woman unknowingly filmed on the New York City subway with pimples on her legs surfaced on the platform. . Skin rashes being a symptom of monkeypox, various users were quick to (wrongly) link the virus to these images.

The woman in the video is Lilly Simon, a 30-year-old New Yorker with neurofibromatosis type 1: a generic disease that causes tumors to grow in nerve endings. In addition to having generated a psychosis in the subway of the American city, these images, relayed without any assurance of anything whatsoever, have put on the front of the stage a sick young woman, who, since the age of eight years, is already continuously singled out. This is what she herself explained in a video, in response to the accusations against her. Currently, his disease (not contagious, by the way), knows no cure.

(Source)

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