Expert videos now more popular than influencers on TikTok when it comes to COVID-19

Tik Tok moved to delete a video of an influencer licking a toilet seat, which triggered a series of copycat actions. As the crisis worsens, the platform has now seen a shift from influencers to expert advice when it comes to the coronavirus.

Safe hands challenge

Source: TikTok

With fears growing over COVID-19, and the potential economic impact globally, a new social media challenge was born. The "coronavirus challenge" became a viral phenomenon a few days ago, as influencers on TikTok began licking toilet seats and door knobs to test the virus' might.

Ava Louiise, the influencer who began the challenge, had her video taken down by TikTok but it didn't stop copycat attempts on social media. The influencer responded to her recent infamy, telling followers she "bleached" the toilet seat afterwards.

Since then, there's been a marked turnaround. Now, TikTok's most viewed videos around the coronavirus include posts from the Red Cross, the World Health Organisation (WHO) - who joined the platform at the end of February - and other NGOs and health organisations.

WHO began their own #SafeHands challenge to spread awareness of how to stay safe and practice good hygiene. 


The challenge has included Liverpool goalkeeper Allison Becker, Mariah Carey and Dr Oz explaining how a surgeon washes their hands on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight show. 

The International Federation of Red Cross asked a doctor how to take care of yourself while the coronavirus spreads in communities across the globe. 

Other heavyweight organisations are using the same video techniques used by TikTok’s everyday users to get their messages across. This United Nations clip looks to curb misinformation by fact checking some theories in a very TikTok way:

Other accounts have been promoting messages of kindness, solidarity and a plea to stop panic buying.

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Published 19 March 2020 at 5:18pm
By Ahmed Yussuf