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Why lying on the internet keeps working

Vox: “A new book examines the “Invisible Rulers” who manipulate your attention online. A.W. Ohlheiser is a senior technology reporter at Vox, writing about the impact of technology on humans and society…About a month ago, I wrote about a viral book of “Lost” herbal remedies that had, at the time, sold 60,000 copies on the TikTok Shop despite appearing to violate some of the app’s policies on health misinformation. The book’s sales were boosted by popular videos from wellness influencers on the app, some of which had millions of views, who claimed inaccurately that the once obscure 2019 book contained natural cures for cancer and other ailments. The influencers, along with TikTok, made money off the sale of this misleading book. I brought all this to the attention of TikTok. The videos I flagged to a company spokesperson were removed after a review for violating TikTok’s policies banning health misinformation.  The book remained for sale in the shop, and new influencers stepped in. Nonetheless, I haven’t stopped seeing TikTok Shop promotions for this book, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, since.  “This right here is the reason they’re trying to ban this book,” said one TikTok Shop seller’s video, as he pointed to the book’s list of herbal cancer treatments. Later, he urged his viewers to click through on a link to the Shop listing and buy right away because “it probably won’t be around forever because of what’s inside.”

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