50% Americans Get (Mis)informed On Social Media: Is Another PizzaGate Waiting To Happen?

Zinger Key Points
  • During the 2016 presidential election, Democrats had to deal with fabricated stories about a child sex trafficking ring.
  • Twitter and TikTok are the "biggest amplifiers of misinformation," Felix Richter of Statista said.
50% Americans Get (Mis)informed On Social Media: Is Another PizzaGate Waiting To Happen?

Five in 10 U.S. adults use social media to get news despite studies calling these platforms a hotbed of misinformation. 

What Happened: With 31% and 25%, Meta Platforms Inc.'s META Facebook and YouTube, respectively, are most often used as news sources. Twitter TWTR, Instagram and ByteDance-owned TikTok round out the top five, according to Statista. 

This is regardless of the widespread consensus that social media was used to influence the past two U.S. presidential elections, Felix Richter of Statista said in a post. He called Twitter and TikTok "biggest amplifiers of misinformation," saying TikTok's rapid popularity has been under the scanner since the beginning over its parent company and its ties to the Chinese government. 

See Also: New Social Media App That Asks Teens To Say Nice Things To Each Other Tops iPhone Downloads — Beating WhatsApp, Facebook

India banned TikTok and several other apps in 2020, saying that the apps pose a "threat to sovereignty and integrity." 

Why It's Important: How to counteract or offset the damage done by “fake news” and misinformation has become a pressing issue, especially when it comes to elections.

During the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were surrounded by fabricated stories about a child sex trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube managed to curb PizzaGate.

Still, months before the next presidential election, the theory made a comeback saying Justin Bieber had been a victim of a trafficking ring. The story kept circulating on the same platforms and new ones like TikTok, according to The New York Times. 

Read Next: Trump Sues CNN For Defamation, Seeks $475M In Damages From 'Purveyor Of Fake News'

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