TikTok is now sharing a graphic video of a bearded man who has live-streamed his suicide via Facebook Live. Users are sending warnings. The platform is working hard to remove all of the video’s versions. They had to ban those who have shared it since September 7.
Ronnie McNutt, the 33-year-old man on the video, took his life on August 31 while doing Facebook Live. Users of TikTok posted videos with wording warning of a video starting with “a man with a beard” sitting at a desk and telling other users to click away and not watch.
While users attach a graphical warning, many still share it in sections of the comment. Some of them hide it in an ‘innocent’ video mode or share it without notice, leaving other shock users.
Is TikTok really banning suicide videos?
A spokesperson for TikTok said their systems automatically detect and flag those clips that violate the policies of the platform against content that promotes, praises, glorifies, or displays suicide. The spokesperson also said the video sharing app bans users who repeatedly upload suicide clips.
“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,” he added.
Unlike other sites, preventing the footage’s spread in the video sharing application is more difficult. TikTok videos appear only at the For You page, where people scroll through. This highlights a significant flaw in the algorithm of the platform. However, other social media companies also had difficulty managing their platforms.
That’s why TikTok users are extra vigilant about warning other users about the disturbing images shown in the video., which children and teenagers can see.
This graphical trend is similar to that of “Video 1444.” It became viral in December 2019. The video showed a Russian guy with a shotgun shot himself in the head.
The video first went viral on YouTube before it was taken down. Netizens also shared copies of the video on different social media platforms, though, without any warning about the shocking content.
Suicide and social media
In the meantime, March for Our Lives tweeted a warning: “a triggering video circulating @tiktok us of a man committing suicide using a shotgun.” If you see a white man with a beard at a desk, please skip the video and report.
“If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support,” the spokesperson said. The official said users can easily access the help lines directly from the app and through the TikTok Safety Center.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reported that about 45,000 Americans die of suicide every year. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800 – 273-8255 for anyone who is considering suicide.