TikTok, stop hoaxes on dangerous challenges: they have a negative impact

New steps for community safety

Issuing warnings against allegedly dangerous online challenges negatively impact 31% of teenagers exposed to this type of deceptive content. Of these, 63% said the impact affected their mental health. This is what emerges from the research on this phenomenon commissioned by TikTok as part of a project for the safety of the community.

Content on suicide and self-harming hoaxes online attempts to present real fears as not real, the study points out. These hoaxes often have similar characteristics and, in some cases, use false warnings about the participation of minors in alleged “games” that would lead to self-harm. When they catch on, they quickly reach wide circulation through warning messages that encourage alerting as many other people as possible. More than half of parents (56%) said they would not have a discussion about self-harm content unless it was introduced first by the child and 37% found it difficult to talk about it without at the same time arousing an interest in teens.

“The research – underlines TikTok – shows that, even when shared with the best of intentions, hoaxes about self-harming content can have a strong impact on the well-being of adolescents. We are already removing this content and taking action to limit its dissemination. From today, as a further addition. protection for our community, we will also eliminate alarmist content: in fact, by treating misleading content and hoaxes as real, they themselves can be harmful. Instead, we will continue to allow conversations that seek to eliminate panic and promote accurate information. “