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Ukraine and Tik Tok

Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has been the talking point all news publications, major and minor. And rightly so, it is the first invasion on European soil since World War 2 after all. However the last place anyone expected to find the invasion of the Ukraine was Tik Tok. The social media platform mainly known for its viral dances and videos, is now host to the most unfiltered view of war ever seen.

Video of man smoking as some sort of projectile hits nearby.
Video of nearby explosion as men rush indoors.

How has it happened?

When examined properly it is clear as to why the Russian-Ukraine war has taken over Tik Tok. The platform has made it possible for anyone to record, edit and upload a video in a matter of minutes. This comes in handy when you want to convey what is happening in a situation and you don’t have time to upload a video to YouTube. Pair this with the platform having over 1 billion active users and the ease in which videos go viral, it is no surprise that footage of the invasion are all over everyone’s “for you page”.

The Good.

This kind of citizen journalism gives you unfiltered look of war, free from any bias of a news publications.

The footage captured are from citizens who are there as the situation unfolds. Meaning that there are far more events being recorded and shown to the rest of the world.

It also gives us footage of situations that a journalist wouldn’t get access to too because of how dangerous it is.

The Bad.

Due to the way Tik Tok is designed, there is no way to verify any of the accounts that post these videos, therefore there is no way to know the legitimacy of a given video. The videos shown above are a good example of this. All three of the videos are taken from the same account, seemingly of a Ukrainian soldier. However there is no way of identifying the owner of the account. It could in fact be legitimate or perhaps it’s somebody reposting videos they find of the Ukrainian war to spread awareness or even an individual using footage of wars all over the world to try and make a quick buck.

There is simply no way of knowing.

What is known however is that there are people are creating misleading videos, using clips of previous wars and scenes from films to try and pass them off as on the ground footage from the Ukraine.

This is done in a way to capitalise on the situation in an effort to make money.

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