LOS ANGELES — According to experts, up to 80% of millennials and Generation Z use YouTube, TikTok and Instagram as a primary source of information for updates on the war in Ukraine.
AB Burns-Tucker is a content creator making videos to help the younger generations understand what is happening. As she prepares to film another video about the war in Ukraine, she said she never expected that making these would become more than a hobby.
What You Need To Know
- AB Burns-Tucker is a content creator who makes videos to help the younger generations understand what's happening in the world
- Though she makes sure the content is amusing, she spends hours researching and source checking the information to make sure it is factual, too
- However, not everyone producing content for social media can be considered an expert, said a political science professor at Cal State Long Beach
- There are not enough measures in place to filter out fake news
“I was like, I’m just going to try to do it in a way as if I was talking to my friends in just random conversation,” she explained.
The law student watched the conflict unfold in the news and made her first video to give her friends a better understanding of what was happening between Russia and Ukraine and why it mattered.
In just a few days, the video went viral on TikTok, garnering 18 million views. Now, Burns-Tucker said she gets continual requests for new updates. Though she makes sure the content is amusing, she spends hours researching and source checking the information to make sure it’s factual, too.
Her videos on the war in Ukraine are what have put her in the spotlight, but Burns-Tucker has been making videos about the criminal justice system and domestic politics for years.
She said ultimately, her goal is to help the younger generation feel informed enough to get involved as well.
“I think it’s important to make other groups of people feel invited into that space,” she said. “By investing in the language and the ideology of the younger generations in a way where they feel like I belong here and I want to be here!”
However, not everyone producing content for social media can be considered an expert, said Kevin Wallsten, political science professor at Cal State Long Beach. He has been researching the impacts of social media for two decades and said up to 80% of millennials and Gen Z use YouTube, TikTok and Instagram as their primary source of information.
Wallsten said that with this, there are pros and cons. We have unprecedented access to the front lines of war with citizen reporters who record and post history as it occurs, but there are not enough measures in place to filter out fake news.
“Everybody can now, with compelling enough content, attract an audience independent of its truth or falsity, independent of their credentials, independent perhaps of what background or expertise they might have,” he said.
For Burns-Tucker's content creation, the demand is high. She said since going viral, she has received so many requests to be a commentator both on and off social media that she’s had to quit her day job as a paralegal.
“I hope I can continue to put out content that’s relevant and effective,” she said.