Incident 185: TikTok's "For You" Algorithm Directed New Users towards Disinformation about the War in Ukraine

Description: An investigation by NewsGuard into TikTok’s handling of content related to the Russia-Ukraine war showed its “For You” algorithm pushing new users towards false and misleading content about the war within less than an hour of signing up.


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Alleged: TikTok developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed TikTok users and TikTok new users.

Incident Stats

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam
TikTok Is Gripped by the Violence and Misinformation of Ukraine War · 2022

The Chinese-owned video app is dealing with a flood of war videos and the question of whether it is spreading unverified information.

Bre Hernandez used to scan TikTok for videos of makeup tutorials and taco truck reviews. Since Russia inva…

WarTok: TikTok is feeding war disinformation to new users within minutes — even if they don’t search for Ukraine-related content · 2022

TikTok is feeding false and misleading content about the war in Ukraine to users within 40 minutes of their signing up to the app, regardless of whether they run any searches on the platform, an investigation by NewsGuard has found.


TikTok algorithm directs users to fake news about Ukraine war, study says · 2022

Scrolling curated For You Page exposes users to disinformation within 40 minutes, investigation by NewsGuard suggests.

A new TikTok account can be shown falsehoods about the Ukraine war within minutes of signing up to the app, according to …

TikTok slammed for videos sharing false information about Russia’s war on Ukraine · 2022

Despite its attempts to combat misinformation, TikTok is still failing to stop the spread of fake news about the Ukraine War, an anti-misinformation organization said on Monday.

TikTok users are being shown videos with fake news about the w…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.