#Coronavirus on TikTok: User engagement with misinformation as a potential threat to public health behavior
Cite this dataset
Baghdadi, Jonathan et al. (2023). #Coronavirus on TikTok: User engagement with misinformation as a potential threat to public health behavior [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bvq83bkdp
Background: COVID-related misinformation is prevalent online, including on social media. The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with user engagement with COVID-related misinformation on the social media platform, TikTok.
Methods: A sample of TikTok videos associated with the hashtag #coronavirus were downloaded on September 20, 2020. Misinformation was evaluated on a scale (low, medium, high) using a codebook developed by experts in infectious diseases. Multivariable modeling was used to evaluate factors associated with number of views and presence of user comments indicating intention to change behavior.
Results: 166 TikTok videos were identified. Moderate misinformation was present in 36 (22%) videos, and high-level misinformation was present in 11 (7%). After controlling for characteristics and content, videos containing moderate misinformation were less likely to generate a user response indicating intended behavior change. By contrast, videos containing high-level misinformation were less likely to be viewed but demonstrated a non-significant trend towards higher engagement among viewers.
Conclusions: COVID-related misinformation is less frequently viewed on TikTok but more likely to engage viewers. Public health authorities can combat misinformation on social media by posting content of their own.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Award: 1K08HS028854-01