F.A.C.T. is a video based website aimed to make you aware of the large presence of conspiracy theory videos on TikTok
By experiencing F.A.C.T. you’ll discover how conspiracy theory videos can enter your life through TikTok without you even noticing them. Conspiracy theory videos are particularly catchy and are becoming viral on the platform, but they’re undercover: it’s difficult to recognize them in the fast scrolling of your #ForYou page.
F.A.C.T. intends to show you both the features of conspiracy theory videos on TikTok and the consequences of their spread, so that you will be able to identify them and watch them with more consciousness.
starting from a research that analyzed the visual language that conspiracy theories adopt in social media communication
@conspiracy sent you a pic aims to discover what makes the aesthetic of conspiracy theories so powerful and catchy.
By analyzing different platforms we’ve noticed that generally each conspiracy theory has a visual language of its own that is more or less commonly used among all the platforms. However, atypically on TikTok, the visual language of the platform itself overcomes the ones of the conspiracy theories.
Through an analysis of the platform we identified some recurring trend formats and contents. By collecting videos with different hashtags related to conspiracy theories we realized that they use the same “ready-to-use” trend formats that the platform offers and that are used for any other type of video.
The result is that on TikTok conspiracy theories’ contents appear very similar to any other kind of content
So the data collected during the second phase was enriched by additional research and repurposed to explain the problematic of conspiracy theory videos on TikTok. We have selected the three biggest conspiracy theories of 2020.
We searched for the hashtags by which these conspiracies are spread on TikTok and selected those with more than 1M views. From the first 30 results of each hashatag we selected the most relevant videos.
Using the dataset created we analysed different videos, following 3 criteria proposed by The European Commission and UNESCO for identifying, debunking and countering conspiracy theories.
For each hashtag we search for the possible social consequences of the spread of conspiracy theories expecially on Tik Tok to underline their dangerous and problematic outcomes in reality.
found out the undercover presence of conspiracy theory videos on TikTok, f.a.c.t. intends to warn the zoomers who are the main tik tok users
Conspiracy theories have inherently a strong attractiveness and TikTok is one of the most engaging social media platforms of all. Matching the two of them could easily drag a young user into a conspiracy video loop.
It is assumed that an adult has a well-established critical sense and the awareness needed to watch conspiracy theory videos without falling into the conspiracy theories’ rabbit hole. However TikTok is mostly used by Gen Z. TikTok is a platform where anyone, overall young activists, can spread their ideas freely. In this way the natural and strong enthusiasm of a teenager can easily become an obsession for conspiracy theories.
“TikTok is full of crazy ideas—conspiracies are no different. They've been normalized by the platform where many young people spend most of their time.” Sofia Barnett
“Many of these conspiracy sites and stories are entertaining. They are social gathering spots. They are exciting.” Nancy Rosenblum
41% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old
F.A.C.T. is warning you to be careful of conspiracy videos on TikTok: they’re difficult to recognize and even if they’re funny and engaging they shouldn’t be underestimated. Falling into a conspiracy video loop could have unfortunate consequences.
But how could we draw GEN Z attention when they’re surrounded by many other catchy contents?
In order to show the presence of conspiracy theory videos on TikTok it was decided to use the language and material offered by the platform itself. By doing this the decision of the tone of voice to use was pretty easy: use a young and fresh language that resembles the way in which TikTok’s users speak.
Following that also the visual language needed to be coherent, that lead to the decision of a bright color palette matched with a rounded font like the “Sporting” from Velvetine Foundry. The use of a set of shapes that recreate stickers (a visual asset also used on the platform) is used throughout the website and videos to give movement and present useful information in a catchy way.
The wide amount of videos offered by the platform made it easy to choose them as the main content of the explanatory videos, also to maintain the idea of explaining the platform through the platform.
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