TikTok has grown into one of the most popular apps in the world while largely avoiding the prevalence of fake accounts that plague its older peers in social media. But it could lose that edge if it doesn’t strengthen its defenses, new research shows.
The Chinese-owned video app currently relies on security measures that can be “easily circumvented” to create fake accounts, according to security research firm Ghost Data in a report prepared for The Information. Larger social networks such as Instagram have struggled to stamp out bots, the coordinated fake accounts that inflate followers and views. Ghost Data’s tests found TikTok will likely become an easier target for bots, which could make it more vulnerable to political disinformation campaigns and complicate its advertising business under new CEO Kevin Mayer.