Rolling Stone article on TikTok conspiracy theorist features insights from Kathleen Stansberry

The Oct. 4 article in Rolling Stone features commentary from the dangers of misinformation on TikTok.

A recent article in Rolling Stone features assistant professor of strategic communication Kathleen Stansberry’s insights on the dangers of misinformation on TikTok.

The article by Andrea Marks delves into the content of TikTok conspiracy theorist Ty with the user handle or @tythecrazyguy. Ty, who considers himself to be ” a very liberal-minded person” has become a favorite amongst some QAnon believers.

Stansberry said she fears “consistent exposure” on TikTok will lead the platform down the same road as other social media networks before it in self-creating ideological silos.

“Once you’ve heard [something] six or seven times, you don’t know you’re part of a community where these videos are becoming more popular,” Stansberry said. “It can give the impression that that’s what a lot of people [outside the platform] are thinking about. But really, TikTok has been able to determine this kind o content is going to keep you watching.”

With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and growing distrust of institutions, conspiracy theory content is at an all-time high, Stansberry said in the article. This popularity makes it easy to unknowingly fall into the trap of being misinformed.

“Even if you’re a user who wouldn’t go seeking out conspiracy-style videos. but you like that face-to-face, confessional, easy style of sharing … it could be a gateway to a larger and more involved look at other conspiracy theories,” she said. “It snowballs quickly on TikTok.”

The full article can be read here.