For the sake of your mental health, please consider staying off TikTok — at least for a little while.
Graphic footage of a man killing himself has been spreading on the video sharing platform since Sunday night, sometimes hidden within more innocuous videos to trick users into viewing it. Many creators are uploading TikToks to warn others about the disturbing clip, while TikTok says it’s working to stop it from circulating.
The video begins with a bearded man wearing glasses, seated and faced toward the camera. If you see this at any point in any video, swipe away immediately.
The video was originally livestreamed on Facebook last month, and has since been uploaded on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Search terms related to TikTok, suicide, or anything to do with the incident may currently produce related content, including reposts, screenshots, and videos with the graphic footage edited in. Please do not look for further information as it may surface the video, and exercise caution online over the next few days.
The distressing clip is even more difficult to avoid on TikTok due to the way the app’s For You feature works. This feed shows and automatically plays videos its algorithm believes may interest a user, which has led to people being inadvertently exposed to the footage.
TikTok confirmed the spread of the video in a statement to Mashable, and said it is working to remove the clips and banning accounts that continue to share it.
“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide,” said a TikTok spokesperson. “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.
“If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support, and we provide access to hotlines directly from our app and in our Safety Center.”
It’s probably best to just stay off TikTok for a while, at least until this is under control.
If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For resources outside the U.S., this list is a good place to start.