TikTok takes more action against deception and dangerous challenges

TikTok has pledged to do more to combat the spread of deception and dangerous challenges. Many TikTok challenges are harmless and fun. Others are more risky, such as this year’s challenge with milk crates, which has led to a number of injuries. But well-meaning parents and other adults who want to alert others to dangerous challenges may inadvertently raise awareness about them – even if those challenges are false.

The company commissioned research on more than 10,000 teenagers, parents and teachers in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. It was found that 31 percent of teenagers participated in some kind of online challenge.

Teenagers were asked about the level of risk of the challenges they recently saw online, not necessarily on TikTok. About 48 percent said the challenge was safe, 32 percent said it had little risk, and 14 percent described it as risky or dangerous. Respondents said three percent of the challenges were “very dangerous,” while 0.3 percent said they participated in a challenge they categorized that way.

The study found that 46 percent of teens want more information and help them understand the risks of the challenge, while 31 percent said they “felt the negative impact” of scams related to self-harm and suicide. Recognizing and resolving fraud is not necessarily easy. Thirty-seven percent of adult respondents say it is difficult for them to talk about self-harm and suicidal scams without drawing attention to them.

TikTok says it is already removing scams and taking steps to limit their spread, but plans to do more. It will remove “alert warning” videos about fake self-harm challenges. “Research has shown that warnings about self-harm scams – even if shared with the best of intentions – can affect the well-being of teenagers because they often treat the scam as real,” TikTok said. “We will continue to allow talks that seek to dispel panic and promote accurate information.

, for example, was a notorious viral scam that many people fell for a few years ago. Its spread has been exacerbated by those who have alarmed the “challenge,” which many have falsely claimed encourages children to harm themselves.

Other security enhancements that TikTok has made include the expansion of “technology that helps alert our security teams to sudden increases in content that violates hashtag-related content.” Whenever a user searches for content related to a fake or dangerous challenge, they will see a warning label.

The company has worked with a clinical child psychiatrist and behavioral scientist to improve label language. Users looking for fake and harmful challenges will be encouraged to visit the TikTok Security Center to learn more about. If the search is related to suicide-related fraud or self-harm, they will see resources such as contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Helpline.

In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the crisis text line by sending an SMS HOME to 741741 (USA), 686868 (Canada) or 85258 (UK). Wikipedia claims list of crisis lines for people outside those countries.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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