TikTok tries to stop the spread of suicide Videos
Since Sunday night, TikTok has been trying to prevent the spread of a graphic video of a man committing suicide with a gun. When the clip opened, there was a picture of a man with a white beard sitting at his desk.
The beginning of the video seems harmless, and its appearance in TikTok’s For You feed which automatically displays content based on the user’s interest makes people accidentally expose themselves to the clip.
TikTok has blocked the release of the video by banning the accounts of people who have tried to re-upload the video multiple times.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Our system has automatically detected and flagged these clips in violation of our policy on displaying, complimenting, glorifying or promoting suicide content.” “We prohibit accounts that repeatedly attempt to upload clips. We thank community members for The report content and warns others not to watch, participate in, or share such videos on any platform out of respect for individuals and their families.”
This episode highlights a significant weakness of the TikTok algorithm. Although all social networks cannot adjust their platforms to some extent, TikTok’s recommendation engine makes it difficult for the company to prevent such content from spreading completely.
The TikTok community has tried to protect itself with shared content warnings, telling its followers to avoid showing the video in the “For You” feed. After initially streaming through Facebook Live, people also shared the video on Twitter and Instagram.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), about 45,000 Americans die by suicide each year.