TikTok: How behavioral science reduced the spread of misinformation

How behavioral science reduced the spread of misinformation on TikTok

We’re the behavioral scientists who designed the intervention together with TikTok that reduced shares of flagged content by 24%. Here’s how we did it.

How do we stop the spread of misinformation?

Our company, Irrational Labs, is a team of behavioral scientists deeply passionate about helping companies use behavioral insights for good. So when TikTok came to us seeking expert guidance on an intervention to reduce the spread of misinformation, we immediately said yes.

In collaboration with TikTok, we designed a pair of prompts that were put on videos with “unsubstantiated content.” This is a term for potentially-misleading information that fact-checkers are not able to verify. Our prompts successfully reduced shares by 24% when compared to a control group. Based on these results, this intervention is being rolled out globally across the TikTok platform over the coming weeks, starting with the US and Canada.

What secret sauce did we use?

We used a process called Behavioral Design. This involves generating a step-by-step map of the user experience, reviewing the relevant research, and marrying the two: You overlay insights onto the map to come up with a hypothesis-driven intervention, then test whether it works.

Read about our process and all the findings

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How do we stop the spread of misinformation?

In this report we walk you through the experiment process and results, sharing as much information as we are legally allowed to.

Thanks for helping us share this information

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How do we stop the spread of misinformation?

In this report we walk you through the experiment process and results, sharing as much information as we are legally allowed to.

Thanks for helping us share this information

Download How do we stop the spread of misinformation?
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