Suicide Video shared over TikTok

Over the weekend, a video had gone viral on TikTok. Not one that you’d want to see though. The infamous video shows a bearded man sitting at a desk, who promptly killed himself using a firearm over live streamed footage. Currently, it is still making its debut and circulating around the TikTok platforms as well as other social media. 

One of the most concerning things about this video, save the fact that it’s a man committing suicide, is that the age range of users on TikTok are significantly younger than any other media. It is known that TikTok is a platform for a youth majority, so exposing them to the gruesome footage could be particularly scarring. My own 14-year-old sister got a hold of the video before it could be taken down.

Through many different means of recycling, the already removed video continues to be shared, through duets, a way for people to almost copy and paste the original, and reposting through screen recordings and other archives of the main source. Not only is it being shared through TikTok though, it’s all over the Twitter platform too. Easily accessible to anyone who wanted to look up a few key words. 

Users all over the sites are disguising the footage using pictures of other non-threatening things to confuse the protective algorithms that are auto-removing the videos. Why go through such lengths to keep it? It is most definitely posing an issue to the sites that are actively working to remove it. Tiktok has resulted in banning the accounts that share the clip. Facebook and Instagram are still cycling through and removing all the uploaded copies. 

Parents are worried about how seeing this type of media will affect their children, many have had harrowing experiences with situations like this already. For the kids and teenagers struggling with suicide, even the adults, their loved ones fear that seeing this kind of video could be a potential trigger. Many situations like it have come and gone with the same sad endings, a domino effect.

These media outlets have time and again seen this, having to proceed accordingly to remove such widely shared videos of gory and macabre scenes that no person, let alone child, should have to witness. It should bring to people’s attention how media should not be used, they’re not thinking of the families that have lost their loved ones, or the children that will see things they weren’t intended to. The severity of these issues are never fleeting, new ones surface everyday.

It’s not just the unthinking users that spread the content like a virus, it’s our content flagging algorithms that should also be updated to help prevent the growth of situations identical to this one. Technology can always advance, cyber safety will always be a concern with modern day society, its what we grow up with now. We should not be growing up with things  not meant for our eyes, not videos of suicides. Eventually, the sites will be able to remove the videos completely, and hopefully prevent anymore from going viral.

 

Source: (BBC News) https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/technology-54069650