The latest TikTok controversy doesn’t involve music, or even Donald Trump.
Instead, it’s about a video of a man shooting himself, which has been shared by a number of popular meme accounts on the app (that’s a link to a news article about this: we’re not going to link to any of the clips) even as TikTok’s moderation team swung into action to remove those videos.
The last 24 hours has showed the best and worst aspects of TikTok’s community: a number of popular TikTokers have posted videos warning their young fans about the video, including showing a thumbnail of the beginning so they know what to avoid, which is good.
Not so good are the creators who thought it would be funny to hide the shooting part of the original video within seemingly benign clips, to spring it on people (children included) even if they were following those warnings.
“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips, and we appreciate our community members who’ve reported content and warned others against watching, engaging, or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family,” said TikTok in a statement.
It’s not the only social media platform under the spotlight with this story: the original footage – which shows a real death – was streamed live on Facebook (again, a link to a news story, not to the video) leading to questions about whether the social network could have done more to prevent it spreading.