Jinwon Soul / Staff reporter
TikTok is a controversial subject for many, especially for critics and journalists. There was a TikTok boom in 2019, and the number of TikTok users dramatically increased during the COVID-19 quarantine. TikTok can connect teenagers that use the app by allowing them to share their experiences and sympathize with each other. However, TikTok has some disadvantages to it. Some people are concerned about the negative impact that TikTok might have on teens. Multiple articles debate on whether TikTok has a negative influence on teens or not, and there are lots of varying opinions and biases within them.
Recently, CNN reported an article about TikTok and its influence on teenagers. The writer of this article had a positive view of TikTok, and the bias is shown throughout the article. This article only focuses on the positive outcomes and solely talks about the advantages of using TikTok. The whole article is written reflecting the writer’s bias and perspective. The writer mentions that TikTok is a great way to bond with others, bridging the generational divide, boosting creativity, and more. The author talks about how the app’s feed is filled with families and dogs all joining to make silly, creative, and wholesome content. However, the author’s claim is not always true, because there is a lot of inappropriate and immature content on the app’s feed that anybody can access. A personal bias in this article could be caused by the students and children who want the adults to think that the app is useful and appropriate. This article is likely written by a student who wants the adults to consider TikTok as a great tool for them.
The second article is from Dispatch News, and it is also biased. The entire article is written from the author’s perspective. The author talks about her thoughts on the positive and negative sides of using TikTok. He also refers to herself as “I” throughout the article, meaning that it was solely based on her thoughts and beliefs. For example, the writer comments in the article,
“I think that TikTok has effects on everyday teens that are mainly positive, but there are some negatives.” wrote Maya Hayen. This statement clearly shows that the article is not factual but simply focused on the writer’s standpoint. Hayen, the author of this article is a sophomore student in a college. The majority of the college students are users of TikTok so her peers could influence her based on their opinions and she could be influenced by her own uses.
An article from the Berkeley High Jacket shows bias from the author who is claiming that extremely attractive people are dominating the app when actually there is a mixture of people getting recognition. It is not always about how someone looks, but rather it is about having great content and a unique point of view. If someone opens his or her TikTok right now and scrolls down the feed, he or she would be able to clearly tell that there are people who get recognition solely based on their unique and creative contents. The author’s claim is a generalization and misinterpretation of how success is achieved on TikTok.
“If it’s an app you already have that doesn’t improve your life, then why keep it? At the end of the day, it may just not be worth it,” says Ulysses Noe. The author also comments that it is better to not download the app in the first place, and this statement is also biased because he is commenting on his own beliefs.
Another article from CBC News talks about the negative influences of using TikTok. In the article, the author quotes, “In my opinion” at the beginning of the paragraph, meaning that what she is writing about is focused on her own beliefs and opinions. It seems like the targeted audience for this article are parents of teenagers. The author talks about how to stop children from using Tiktok, which is biased and personal.
It is especially important in these times that the general public is reading unbiased and factual articles instead of articles written by authors who write about their own personal thoughts and beliefs. Everyone has his or her own opinion on a subject and it is good to hear others’ opinions, but when it comes to writing about factual events, journalists have a duty to search for the truth.