TikTok must take steps to prevent pupils from posting abusive videos in which they humiliate teachers or mock school staff, Education Chiefs Demand

  • TikTok is a social media website that hosts controversial video clips 
  • Some wrongly label them as sex offenders, while others mock openly teachers
  • The Department of Education is now asking TikTok for assistance 

After teachers were accused of being abused in TikTok videos, including being mistakenly labeled paedophiles. 

The Association of School and College Leaders received more than 50 complaints from staff who were subject to ‘disgraceful abuse’ via images and messages posted on social media platforms.

Headteachers union claims that the posts are often offensive and defamatory, and even homophobic.

Baroness Barran is the Minister for Academies and she said that she is deeply concerned about the ‘abhorrent abuse’. TikTok is being contacted by the Department for Education to discuss the measures it has taken.

TikTok has been urged by school leaders to quickly remove these posts and stop ‘offensive or abusive’ content from ever being posted.

Geoff Barton is the general secretary for ASCL. He said that school personnel have been subject to disgraceful abuse over the last few weeks through images and messages posted on social media site TikTok.

“We are not sure how widespread it is, however we have received 50 or more reports. We suspect that many others will be as well.

Social media site TikTok has been hosting the controversial video clips of the teachers

TikTok, a social media platform has hosted the video clips of teachers.

More than 50 reports of staff suffering 'disgraceful abuse' through messages have been made

There have been more than 50 complaints of employees being subject to ‘disgraceful abuse’ via messages.

“These comments are frequently offensive and defamatory, some of them homophobic. Although schools have told us they requested TikTok’s removal of these messages, TikTok frequently fails to respond despite clear violations to the platform community guidelines.

“This content is very distressing to the targeted staff, as well as the young persons who have posted it. They are engaging in behavior that could cause them to be excluded from school, or, in extreme instances, become the subject of an investigation by the police.

Mr Barton stated that the union had written TikTok in order to request a meeting and the issue was raised with the governments from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

He said that TikTok is currently investigating the matter and that it uses a mix of technology and moderation teams in order to remove any content that is not within its guidelines.

ASCL was told by the company that it had already taken legal action against many accounts.

Barton stated that this reinforces our belief in the need to regulate social media platforms.

Baroness Barran said social media companies need to take action against harmful content

Baroness Barran announced that social media firms must be proactive in removing harmful content

“Social media platforms need to be legally responsible for creating processes that prevent the posting of offensive or abusive material.”

Nick Brook is the NAHT deputy general secretary and Nick Brook was the vice-general secretary. He stated: “TikTok, and other social media companies, must be more accountable for any content they host on their platforms.

“The racist, homophobic and sexist abuse directed at school staff by TikTok video is completely unacceptable. However, it seems that there has been a concern about the urgency of removing insensitive and distressing messages.

We encourage the government to act on behalf of victims of abusive content if they don’t have the resources to police it properly.

“No company should ever profit from others’ misery.”

Baroness Barran tweeted: “Social media companies should take action against harmful contents and my department engages with TikTok regarding the steps they are taking in order to address the problem.”

A spokesperson from the Government stated that it was unacceptable for any person to intimidate or harass teachers.

Online abuses are unacceptable and should be reported immediately to the police.

“We engage with TikTok about the steps they are taking to resolve this issue involving teachers.

“We’re clear that social media companies must act against any harmful content they post on their sites and are now introducing legislation to make this happen.

TikTok was contacted for comment.