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TikTok suicide video: It’s time social media platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content

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A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material.

According to media reports, the video first showed up on Facebook in late August but has been re-uploaded and shared across Instagram and TikTok — reportedly sometimes cut with seemingly harmless content such as cat videos.

TikTok users have warned others to swipe away quickly if they see a video pop up showing a man with long hair and a beard.

Schools and child safety advocates have warned parents to be alert for the possibility their child may see — or may have already seen — the video if they are a TikTok or Instagram user.

The sad reality is users will continue to post disturbing content and it is impossible for platforms to moderate before posting. And once a video is live, it doesn’t take long for the content to migrate across to other platforms.

Pointing the finger at individual platforms such as TikTok won’t solve the problem. What’s needed is a coordinated approach where the big social media giants work together.

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