TikTok Isn’t Doing Enough To Tackle Self-Harm And Eating Disorders As Views On Such Issues Climb

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular applications and while it does do a lot in terms of protecting its user base, a recent report is highlighting some concerning matters.

The company is feeling pressure from regulatory bodies to strengthen its policies related to content moderation. And the news comes as the number of views concerning issues such as mental health and self-harm is picking up the pace.

Groups including NSPCC as well as the Molly Rose Foundation highlighted how the app isn’t acting fast enough as new research conducted on the matter showed the platform’s algorithm as one that was rooting for self-harm and promoting disorders linked to eating among young aged audiences.

"TikTok has removed just seven of the harmful eating disorder hashtags we are tracking, leaving 49 active. Many of these hashtags do not carry links to resources for vulnerable users. These hashtags have received 14.8 billion views, as of January 2023, an increase of 1.6 billion views since we published our report.", highlighted CCDH.

They were observed expressing a lot of interest in the subject within a span of just a few minutes. And that is alarming, to say the least.

Recently, a letter was directed toward the company’s head for safety where it was mentioned how such organizations are proving the matter to be one that’s extremely serious. Therefore, serious action needs to be implemented so this type of content is moderated cleverly.

Experts are needed to work side by side with the app so a proper and comprehensive plan can be aligned to delete harmful content. It also supported all of those people that are outlined as struggling with such issues. Another important matter that needs to be looked into is taking the necessary steps to prevent the issues younger users are having by giving them an outlet to reach out to the necessary professional for assistance.

There are similarly a lot of signatories who mentioned that TikTok has deleted around seven of the 56 coded disorders linked to eating. Similarly, they ended up highlighting plenty of hashtags that were published toward the end of last month.

This was for a respective campaign group that was called CCDH and it showed how the views on alarming issues were continuing to be on the rise since November.

This report proves to use that TikTok is denying the issue for a long time now and that is a huge problem on its part. It is denying responsibility and delaying terms of taking the right actions.

Last year, TikTok was very bold about how such researchers by the CCDH were not showing the real picture of the matter. They were instead going on to reveal a false perspective as they came to conclusions based on fake accounts that dealt with the likes of video content circulating around body image and eating conditions as well as mental health.

They further went on to blast the report as one that’s designed to test the response of the platform’s recommendation algorithm. And it does not reflect upon the right viewing habits for users working in real-life.

This letter came about during the same timeframe that we saw TikTok gaining one billion users around the globe. It further added how this would prevent teens from joining the app to just one hour of usage on a daily basis. But this restriction may be altered or deleted by simply visiting the settings of the app.

A report launched in December showed how there were some specific coded hashtags that users could easily gain access to. It entailed videos that were potentially harmful and promoted some very restrictive diets like those dubbed ‘thinspo’. The whole idea here was to encourage the likes of weight loss through harmful means among young age groups like female teens.

Another recent analysis showcased how such hashtags by the firm were not dealt with seriously. In fact, only 7 of the 10 were deleted from the app while three had health warnings attached to them in the app’s UK version.

Read next: New Data Shows TikTok’s IAP Earned It $205 Million More Than Snap, Facebook, Instagram, And Twitter Combined
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