When you hear the words “viral TikTok video,” you probably think about funny challenges and pop song lip syncs. But there’s another type of content going viral on TikTok: Conspiracy theories.
In fact, TikToks espousing all kinds of wildly false claims have found an incredibly large audience, and while there’s something fascinating about viral conspiracy theories, they can have devastating real world consequences — as one online party supply company recently learned the hard way.
Ionized, a small business that sells novelty items like glow sticks and party hats on Amazon, has endured weeks of endless harassment, a ruined Amazon sales channel, and even visits from law enforcement. All because of a viral TikTok video spreading a QAnon-inspired conspiracy theory alleging that the company is secretly running a child trafficking ring.