More popular than Facebook and Instagram
TikTok is a video-sharing social platform owned by a Beijing-based company called ByteDance. The app is used to create short lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos.
TikTok became super popular worldwide since its debut in 2017 and has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times. This platform is extremely popular among teens, with Brazil being one of its biggest markets.
TikTok does not care about you – or any of us
On February 2019, a 19-year-old Brazilian boy livestreamed his death on TikTok, which stayed on the platform for more than an hour and received nearly 500 comments and 15 complaints.
When the Brazilian TikTok officials were finally aware of the suicide almost 2 hours later via Whatsapp messages from social influencers, they did not inform the police straight away. They prioritized a PR strategy to prevent the incident from going viral and closely monitored social media in case the video has been shared on other platforms. They only notified the police 3 hours later.
Below is an image from an internal document detailing TikTok’s minute-by-minute response to the Brazilian boy’s livestreamed suicide. Read more here.
“Is TikTok harmless?…”
How many more TikTok suicide cases do you know of? There are at least 4 TikTok deaths that occurred in India, one of the countries with the biggest TikTok user base.
This incident raised questions about how TikTok’s algorithm failed to highlight and subsequently alert the company on the livestreamed suicide. Additionally, it proved that Tiktok is no exception compared to other social media platforms when it comes to content moderation.
Although Tiktok maintained that it has made necessary changes to its review process, they did not specify what those changes were.
“…I don’t know anymore.”
Maybe TikTok was too busy identifying and censoring cultural/ political content that are offensive to the Chinese government, according to former employees’ reports to The Washington Post and documents obtained by The Guardian and the German blog Netzpolitik.
Also, check out this interesting write-up on how TikTok may be one of China’s most effective weapons in the global information war, shaping how U.S audience understand real-world events!
If you’re wondering how to livestream on TikTok, you must have at least 1,000 followers and be 16 years of age or above.