Recent investigation has revealed that TikTok is encouraging its young users to purchase guns and body armor while sharing videos of serial killers.
An eye-opening report was created by RawStory online publication. account for a fictional 13-year-old to browse the contents of the video-sharing app, which provides an endless stream of user-uploaded videos tailored to a user’s interests.
However, after a few hours of surfing the social-networking site, the de facto youth was bombarded with a surge of disturbing content.
Within twelve hours of opening the account, RawStory’s recommended content quickly devolved from innocent videos dealing with law enforcement to clips promoting firearms, and body armor and rifle mounts that improve the accuracy of weapons when fired.
The Chinese-owned app also provided links to websites where the fictitious teen could sell such items.
RawStory’s recommended content shifted quickly from innocent videos about law enforcement to clips that promoted firearms, body armor, and rifle mounts that improve accuracy when weapons are fired within 12 hours.
The Chinese-owned app even provided links for websites that would allow the fictitious teen to sell such items.
RawStory’s simulated 13 year old initially focused on videos of police officers, servicemembers, and hunting. TikTok slapped the fake user with a variety of off-color hunting videos within two hours of creating the account.
The app suggested a series of clips about serial murderers to the imaginary adolescent. One recommendation account detailed the graphic killing of Konerak, 14-year-old, at the hands Jeffrey Dahmer (reputable necrophiliac)
After the initial period of half-day, the app’s content became more alarming. It suggested videos that young users had uploaded detailing their suicide attempts. One example video showed a young girl being treated in what appeared to have been a hospital.
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based internet company ByteDance. It is a popular platform that streams user-uploaded videos to viewers, who mainly are US teens.
TikTok spokeswoman, ‘Protecting Minors is Vitally Important’, urged users, critics, and concerned family members last month after a Wall Street Journal report revealed that the social media app offered drug and bondage videos for teenage accounts.
The Journal’s report was presented to the spokesperson who stated that the Journal’s investigation “in no way represents behavior and viewing experience of real people.”
She said that TikTok had taken industry-first steps in order to create a safe environment for teens.
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based internet tech company ByteDance. It’s a popular platform that streams user-uploaded videos to viewers who are mainly US teens.
TikTok suggested that a video be sent to the 13-year old account. It featured an iron-sight Fast Mount by weapons gear company Unity Tactical. Mounts are attached to rifles to improve aim and accuracy during shooting.
When users click on certain clips, the app responds by recommending a constant stream of additional, similar videos, tailored by TikTok’s algorithm, and designed to keep users on the app.
Although it contains a lot of harmless content, such as memes and silly dance moves,If users show an interest in certain videos, the site can send them down dangerous rabbit holes, as The Journal and RawStory have shown.
What’s more, the publication’s in-depth exposés also seem to show that with each slew of recommended clips, the content being shown to users – which in these cases were theoretically well underage – grew more and more extreme.
Raw Story’s simulated 13 year old, for instance, initially focused on videos that showed police officers, servicemembers, and hunting.
TikTok sacked the account within two hours. TikTok sent the manufactured user a series of off-color hunting video clips, one of which joked about a hunter shooting a neighbor dog and an Amishman.
TikTok suggested ‘flexible’ rifle armour within three hours. This advanced tactical gear is used by SWAT officers and servicemen to protect them from high-caliber shots.
TikTok suggested that a video featuring an iron-sight Fast Mount made by Unity Tactical be made after five hours. Mounts are attached to rifles to improve aim and accuracy during shooting.
Unity Tactical’s website states that the mount is useful ‘especially when wearing tactical gear, nightvision goggles gas masks helmets, and plate carriers.
Both accounts promote tactile gear, linking to websites where they are sold.
A few hours later at 10pm, when most kids would be getting ready for bed, TikTok offered a small selection of videos about serial killers.
RawStory’s likely restless teenager found graphic descriptions of murders committed in RawStory’s Jeffrey Dahmer’s skull. This included Sinthasomphone’s murder. Dahmer also drilled a hole into Sinthasomphone’s skull to release acid while he was still alive. Sinthasomphone was then found naked on the streets by police.
The account also offered a detailed video study on another one of Dahmer’s victims, 18-year-old Steven Hicks, who was ‘dismembered and disposed of… in the woods behind his [Dahmer’s]The home of a parent.
The details of the murder, his first, are not something that a parent would want to show their 13-year old.
RawStory’s make-believe adolescent found graphic descriptions of murders perpetrated by Jeffrey Dahmer (pictured).
RawStory’s fictitious 13-year-old found himself subjected to graphic accounts of killings by serial murderer Jeffery Dahmer (not pictured), which detailed the brutal murders of 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (left) and Steven Hicks, 18
Dahmer masturbated over Hicks’ corpse after bludgeoning him to death with a ten-pound barbell, and dissected his body in his basement.
The killer found Hicks’ bones in a shallow grave near Dahmer’s parents’ home and sliced the flesh. This took place weeks later.
The acid was then used to dissolve the flesh, before he flushed the solution down the drain and crushed Hicks’ bones into dust with a sledgehammer.
Many videos that appear on the social media site violate TikTok’s Community Guidelines.
TikTok claims to condemn content that encourages, normalizes or glorifies extreme violence and suffering.
RawStory’s probe discovered all four types of prohibited weapons products. The app even went so far as to sell the dangerous gear.
The probe also revealed that young users are more likely to use the site than their older counterparts. TikTok is interested in content that depicts soldiers or toy guns. It sends out videos of people firing real weapons to unsuspecting users and links them to sites where they can buy them.
RawStory’s 13-year old user initially clicked on a selection of military videos after the account was opened. Within 12 hours, the account was shown content promoting firearm accessories and body armor.
TikTok’s China owner offers a different, more restricted version of their app.
China bans the version given to Americans.
RawStory asked TikTok for an explanation regarding the eyebrow-raising probe results.
TikTok is already under fire from Congress over its child safety practices.
The head of public policy for the company testified today before a Senate consumer protection subcommittee hearing about social media and child safety.
“The problem is clear: Big Tech preys upon children and teens in order to make more money,” Senator Edward Markey, D.Mass., stated at a hearing of the Senate Commerce subcommittee.
‘Recent revelations about harm to kids online show that Big Tech is facing its Big Tobacco moment—a moment of reckoning,’ subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal said last week in a statement.
“We must understand the impact of popular platforms such as Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube and YouTube on children, and what companies can do better for them to keep them safe.”