TikTok at it's best to stop the spread of a suicide clip
The suicide clips started circulating on Sunday night, confirmed a TikTok representative.
TikTok is trying its best to curb the spread of graphic videos circulating the app that show a man shooting himself with a gun, and banning the people's accounts who are re-uploading the clip.
TikTok says the clip was initially streamed on Facebook and has come into view on other apps as well. When the TikTok community came to know about the clip, many creators started posting videos warning their followers to look out for an image — a man sitting in front of his desk with a grey beard — and swipe away from the video. Other creators spoke about the most disturbing part of the video being hidden inside more innocuous looking TikToks. A TikTok representative confirmed to The Verge that "clips of a suicide" started circulating on Sunday night.
"Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide," the spokesperson said. "We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips, and we appreciate our community members who've reported content and warned others against watching, engaging, or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family."
In the past, these types of videos have appeared on other sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit. As TikTok videos get surfaced into one main feed — known as the For You Page — through which people scroll, it can be difficult to avoid the footage. That might be the reason why the TikTok community is trying to be extra vigilant about cautioning others about the imagery in the video. Warnings are also popping up on Instagram where the video clips are circulating. Parents have spoken about their children and teenagers coming across the video on sites like Twitter, and the toll it's taken.
"If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support, and we provide access to hotlines directly from our app and in our Safety Center," the spokesperson said.