image

health as it happens

TikTok Diagnosis Videos Leave Some Teens Thinking They Have Rare Mental Disorders - The Wall Street Journal

Investigation: How TikTok's Algorithm Figures Out Your Deepest Desires

Your browser does not support HTML5 video.

Sound On Created with sketchtool.

0:00 / 13:02

0:00

Investigation: How TikTok's Algorithm Figures Out Your Deepest Desires

Investigation: How TikTok's Algorithm Figures Out Your Deepest Desires

A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what you want: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or rewatch, the app is tracking you. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann/The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 26, 2021 5:30 am ET

Your browser does not support the audio tag.

This article is in your queue.

Samantha Fridley would stay up until 3 a.m. watching an endless stream of TikTok videos about borderline-personality disorder, bipolar disorder and multiple-personality disorder.

Many videos were from teens or young adults who said they had these diagnoses. Others were from people claiming to be therapists. They often mention signs they say could be symptoms of these conditions, and encourage viewers to do their own self-evaluation.