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TikTok bans videos of fake positive Covid tests – but fails to take them down

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TikTok videos documenting users’ attempts to trick Covid-19 tests into displaying positive results with lemon juice, Coca-Cola and orange juice are still available despite being banned from the platform.

The app had previously allowed the videos to remain online after an analysis by i found that clips uploaded under the search term #fakecovidtest had been viewed more than 6.5 million times.

Last week, Tiktok started blocking the hashtags #fakecovidtest and #fakecovidtests from displaying videos, and began removing content that violated its standards – including the account @.fakecovidtests, which had more than 20,000 followers and had close to 20m views. Despite this, however, false-test videos with millions of views are still live and available to watch.

British teenager Amaar’s four clips of experiments – which attempt to trick lateral flow tests with liquids including orange juice, Lynx deodorant and Dior aftershave – have received close to 3m views since April, and are all still live.

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Other videos from a single user based in the US, in which door handles and banisters are swabbed and lemon, Coca Cola and wine are used, are also still live, and have been watched around 6.5m times in the past six weeks. Similarly, misspelt hashtag #fakecovitest still returns videos – showing how users are trying to get reound the ban by adjusting their hashtags.

Independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact has reported that rapid tests very rarely return false positive results when used as intended.

But teenagers have been following tips from TikTok videos to generate fake lateral flow results to get sent home from school. One parent told i last week that their son was forced to self-isolate after a friend faked her positive result.

Although the Government and NHS encourages anyone who has received a positive lateral flow test result to take a confirmatory PCR lab test, there is no way for the school to compel the student to do so, the parent said.

As of last week, some 300,000 pupils were self-isolating at home after potentially coming into contact with an infected classmate.

The videos give tips on how to doctor test results – infuriating teachers and parents (Photo: AP)

Education leaders said attempts to concoct positive results were “massively unhelpful”, with education already disrupted because of the pandemic.

“We are sure this involves a very small minority of pupils, and that for the most part the tests are used correctly,” Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told i.

“However, we would urge parents to ensure that tests are not being misused, and we would suggest to pupils who are interested in chemical reactions that the best place to learn about them is in chemistry lessons in school.”

TikTok said: “Our community guidelines make clear that we remove content which includes misleading information that causes harm to people on TikTok or the wider public, including medical misinformation related to Covid-19, and anti-vaccine disinformation more broadly.

“This trend [of giving tips on how to fake test results] violates our community guidelines and we are removing this content.”


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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