20-year-old Marta Vasyuta is now a well-known name on Tiktok for videos related to Ukraine. Usually, she used to use Tiktok in the same way as other youths of her age do.
Till last week, he had only a few thousand followers on his Tiktok profile. She usually used to put lip sync videos, night out videos on the music of her choice. When Russia invaded Ukraine, Marta Vasyuta had come to the UK to meet her university friends.
In such a situation, she was scared to see the news of the attack on Kyiv. After this, what Marta Vasyuta did, she made her a Tiktok influencer overnight.
What language does Marta Vasyuta speak?
Marta Vasyuta speaks Ukrainian, Russian, and EnglishThe videos he has shared related to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine since February 23 have millions of views. A lot of people on Tiktok, especially young people are trusting Marta for news and videos related to Ukraine. She says, “I just want to explain to the people that Ukraine is not only the problem of the people of Ukraine, but it is also everyone’s problem.”
As soon as she got the news of the attack on Ukraine, she started scrolling through Ukrainian channels on the Telegram messaging app. Telegram messaging app is quite popular in Ukraine.
People of Ukraine were uploading videos on these channels. Marta started saving such videos. She says, “My phone was full because of these videos, I was getting all the news.”
After this Marta got busy verifying the veracity of these videos. Started seeing the comments related to them. Marta says, “I could see that people are saying that this is true, they are saying that this is what is going on there right now.”
Then Marta started posting videos on Tiktok and by doing so she fell asleep. She says, “When I woke up in the morning and saw Tiktok, there were already 9 million views on those videos.”
Got over 17 million likes
Sam Gregory tracks how social media is used during humanitarian crises. He says that the algorithm of Tiktok is topic-based. Sam says, “Contents are served according to your interest. In such a situation, if you show interest in Ukraine, then you will get to see more content related to Ukraine or Ukraine.
Such algorithms have helped content creators like Marta grow to become influencers overnight. Marta’s videos have garnered over 17 million likes and now have 200,000 followers.
She still can’t believe these numbers, she reads the number of reactions on the post from her phone and says, “I don’t understand these numbers”.
Although experts have warned that Tiktok can be a good place for videos coming from the Ground, wrong information is also found on this platform.
Marta agrees that trying to verify content can be a daunting task. Even if a video is from Ukraine, even if people speak Ukrainian, the videos can be from a long conflict in the eastern part of the country that began in 2014. And she also believes that she is not an expert in video verification. Some of the videos posted by Marta have been confirmed by media outlets including BBC News.
Marta believes that some people prefer to get news from social media sources like her rather than traditional news outlets. “Some people don’t trust professional journalists, even verified sources,” she says.
For her, being a normal young lady from Ukraine makes her relatable to a lot of viewers. “It makes him trust me and my videos more,” she says.
Marta’s family is in Ukraine and they are concerned about their safety. But by sharing such videos, she believes that she is helping the world, and especially the young audience, to see what is happening on the ground. Now seeing that she is stuck in Britain, then Tiktok is the only way in which she can do something.