These TikTok Creators Are Taking A Stand Against Misinformation

Alice Duthie
on 3 November 2022

TikTok and Australian Associated Press (AAP) have teamed up to recruit creators across a range of subjects – from LGBTQI+ history to astrophysics – and empower them to spread positive media literacy messages.

The initiative will teach creators to recognise and avoid misinformation, and will support them to spread awareness of these issues with their own audiences.

The pilot project took off last week, with five Australian and New Zealand TikTok creators chosen to represent a broad range of topics and audience:

  • Kirsten Banks @astrokirsten
  • Rainbow History Class @rainbowhistoryclass
  • Byron Dempsey @byrondempsey
  • Celia Gercovich @celia.gercovich
  • Nixon Stoddart @nixonsto
tiktok misinformation
One of the chosen creators for the initiative was Byron Dempsey @byrondempsey

These creators received comprehensive training from AAP FactCheck to recognise misinformation, habits to adopt for improved media literacy, and fact-checking skills. They then produced three videos each, addressing their chosen topic and the misinformation surrounding the topic.

TikTok creator Kirsten Banks @astrokirsten said, “this collaboration with the AAP supported by TikTok has been really beneficial for me and my community. There’s lots of misinformation about space on the internet and the tools I’ve learnt about from the AAP and shared with my audience will help everyone combat misinformation online.”

girl on phone

Through this initiative, AAP is aiming to rebuild the trust in our news media industry, at a time when distrust has never been so prevalent.

The recent Reuters Institute Digital Media Report 2022, based on a poll of 93,000 respondents in 46 markets, showed trust in the news had declined in 21 markets. More than half the respondents (54 per cent) were also worried about not being able to tell the difference between what is true and false online.

According to AAP Director of Editorial Partnerships Holly Nott, “AAP has always provided fact- based and objective journalism, and through AAP FactCheck we are also debunking misinformation on TikTok and other platforms. This pilot project is an exciting, pro-active way to expand the impact of our relationship with TikTok and support creators to share responsible, accessible messages about media literacy.”

Nott added, “AAP is committed to addressing the problem of misinformation from as many angles as we can, and this pilot project gives us another avenue to explore.”

Brent Thomas, Director of Public Policy, AUNZ at TikTok said: “Our mission at TikTok is to inspire joy and creativity. Our Community Guidelines clearly outline that we do not allow harmful misinformation, and we will, and do remove it from the platform. Partnering with AAP helps us to educate both our community and creators, which is vital in ensuring that mis and disinformation is not spread on our platform.”

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