The Chinese app’s recommendation algorithm is so advanced that within ten minutes, it will start pushing suicide videos if the young TikTok user suggests he is sexually frustrated, according to research published Tuesday by corporate accountability group Ekō and shared with VICE News.
The researchers set up nine different new TikTok accounts, and listed their age as 13 — the youngest age users can join the platform — then they mimicked who they referred to as “incels” or “involuntary celibates,” which is an online community of “young men who formed a bond around their lack of sexual success with women,” according to VICE News.
Minutes later, the researchers found that after viewing just ten videos having to do with “incel”-related topics, the TikTok accounts’ “For You” pages were all filled with similar content.
One of the test accounts was shown a video from Jake Gyllenhaal’s film that people claim is popular among the “incel community.” In the video, the actor was seen with a rifle in his mouth saying, “Shoot me. Shoot me in the fucking face.”
The short video also included the message, which read, “Get shot or see her with someone else?”
To make matters worse, majority of the users were in support of the suggested suicide. Some users expressed their loneliness, with many saying they felt “dead inside.”
It went as far as one user suggesting his own suicide within the next few hours.
TikTok has replaced Instagram and Facebook as the go-to social media platform for teenagers across the country. It is known for pushing addictive and harmful content to children of all ages, as well as young adults which in some cases has resulted in injury and even death.
It only takes ten minutes after creating an account on China’s TikTok app for the platform’s algorithm to begin pushing suicide videos to 13-year-old children. https://t.co/WLXntyQap1
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 21, 2023
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