• Monday, July 15, 2024
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How social media algorithm amplifies misogynistic content – Study

How social media algorithm amplifies misogynistic content – Study

A recent study has highlighted how TikTok algorithm amplifies contents that promote misogyny, which negatively affect the perspective of young male users of the platform online.

The study indicated that TikTok algorithm’s recommendations create echo chambers that limit users to a narrow range of perspectives, which can hinder critical thinking and open dialogue.

“This algorithmic bias leads to the normalisation and amplification of misogynistic content, granting it increased visibility and potentially attracting a larger audience.

“These findings highlight the critical issues surrounding TikTok’s algorithm and its role in perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes and beliefs, particularly among young male users,” Sunday Ayodabo, researcher, said during the Global Digital Humanities Symposium 2024, hosted recently by Michigan State University, United States.

Ayodabo disclosed that his areas of research focus on gender, digital media studies and AI ethics, and presented a study titled “Misogyny Goes Viral: Understanding TikTok’s Algorithmic Influence on Andrew Tate’s Content.”

He stated that the significance of the study lies in its approach to analysing how TikTok’s algorithms promote content that could be potentially harmful and shape societal perceptions, particularly among young male audiences.

He disclosed that the methodology involved an experimental setup with anonymous participants, a strategic identification of relevant misogynistic content, and an in-depth analysis of TikTok data including user perspectives and engagement metrics.

Ayodabo stated that the research methodologically blends AI, media, gender studies, and ethics to offer insight into how algorithmic processes can reinforce and spread misogynistic ideologies. “The algorithm’s recommendation patterns have the potential to significantly influence users’ perceptions and beliefs about gender roles and relationships. This bias leads to the normalisation and amplification of misogynistic videos and accounts, granting them increased visibility and potentially attracting a larger audience,” Ayodabo stated.

According to him, TikTok’s algorithm appears to breach the platform’s community guidelines by favouring misogynistic content. He stated further that the study reveals an algorithmic bias, particularly on the ‘For You’ and ‘Suggested User’ recommendation pages, which disproportionately promotes misogynistic videos and accounts.

“The power of algorithms in shaping our digital experiences cannot be understated. My research reveals how TikTok’s algorithm can amplify misogynistic content, leading to the normalisation and spread of harmful gender stereotypes and beliefs, particularly among young male users,” he said.