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Desperate to fight the constant spread of coronavirus misinformation, the World Health Organization (WHO) has joined the social media app TikTok. The hope is that more people can be reached through this channel.
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Timely public health advice
"We are joining @tiktok to provide you with reliable and timely public health advice! Our first post: How to protect yourself from #coronavirus ?" wrote WHO in its first post to the site.
The video stars Benedetta Allegranzi, technical lead of infection prevention and control, who informs people on measures to take to protect yourself from the virus and directs people to WHO's website.
We are joining @tiktok to provide you with reliable and timely public health advice! Our first post: How to protect yourself from ##coronavirus ?♬ original sound - who
The second video posted is about when and how to wear a mask to protect yourself from the virus. However, the video indicates that you do not need a mask if you are not experiencing symptoms.
When & how should masks be worn in order to protect against the new ##coronavirus ?♬ original sound - who
Both videos are clear and educational and provide accurate information. Both are also quite popular with the first having 11.7 million views as of this writing and the second counting 16.3 million.
TikTok is a key target for the WHO likely because people on the site have been falsely claiming to be infected and, in general, have been spreading a sense of panic. WHO is already quite popular in being a source for coronavirus information as the organization appears as Google's top searches.
WHO is not alone in trying to fight the spread of coronavirus misinformation online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also been targeting misinformation on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tencent, and TikTok.
Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok already support the organizations' efforts by directing people conducting coronavirus searches to the WHO and the CDC's official sites.
WHO's TikTok account already has 100.7K followers. TikTok has also been used by other worldwide organizations such as the Red Cross and Unicef.