Over the past two days, viral posts have circulated social media with the following message regarding TikTok, the video-sharing App:
“Trigger Warning: Suicide.
There is a video on tiktok of a live streamed suicide. It is hidden behind clips that start with cats and things. Many kids have seen it as it comes on so quickly.”
Knowing how alarmed The Motherload® members would be for their children’s welfare, we took a closer look and found that the BBC, CNN, and the Guardian had all reported this evening that TikTok were taking measures to remove the video from circulation but were struggling to do so given the wide sharing of the content.
The video in question shows a man killing himself while filming on a live-stream, after the clip starts with innocuous content. It appears that the clip originated on a live stream on Facebook. TikTok have struggled to remove the clip as it has been embedded into videos featuring unrelated content like cats and dogs (and other seemingly unrelated scenes) which then suddenly changes to reveal the live stream clip.
The video-sharing site is popular with many young people and those who have viewed the video have been deeply affected and traumatised by the content.
TikTok said it would ban accounts who seek to share the clips further. In a statement to the BBC, they said, “Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide. 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.”
Advice for Parents
- Discussing this warning, in an appropriate manner, with your child is important so that they can be aware of the content and avoid, where possible, clicking on related clips.
- Discourage your child from seeking out the content – peer pressure to view ‘gore’ videos can be influential, but cause an impact on a child’s mental health when they are unable to cope with the images they are viewing.
- If appropriate, remove the app from your child’s phone until you are satisfied that the matter is resolved to your expectations.
- Check your child’s usage on all social media platforms – this video has been shared widely and has been found on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram.
If your child has viewed the content, please see our support recommendations below:
For information and support for mental health and suicide, click here
To talk to the Samaritans, call 116 123, or visit https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan