Social media has dramatically changed the world in ways society is only now coming to realize.
Many have been concerned about social media’s effects on attention span, culture, and civility.
But nothing comes close to the shocking reality of what Chinese app TikTok is doing to American teens and it will leave you sick to your stomach.
Researchers warn that TikTok use is a matter of life and death
Many have warned about the potential dangers of the Chinese-owned app TikTok.
Most of the time, people discuss the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party and their ability to collect data on American citizens.
Others point to the type of content that the app’s algorithm prioritizes in different countries around the world.
Typically, TikTok’s algorithm serves educational videos for Chinese citizens, while American citizens are merely force fed an endless stream of culturally degenerative content.
Now, researchers are finding that the content being pushed on American children is more nefarious than anyone could have imagined.
The report shows how the app is looking to exploit confusion in kids, and promote physical harm.
Their findings indicate that this is literally a matter of life and death.
Content suggested self-harm and suicide to emotionally confused teens
Research conducted by Ekō, a corporate accountability group, has shown that it takes no more than ten minutes for TikTok to establish a target on emotionally challenged children, and begin serving them videos that promote suicide.
The group created nine TikTok accounts at the minimum age requirement for the app — 13 years old.
They then began mimicking behaviors of “young men” that lack “sexual success with women.”
After just ten minutes of viewing so-called “incel” related content, their feeds were flooded with negative content.
One of the videos that was discovered was a clip from the movie Jarhead in which actor Jake Gyllenhaal put a rifle in his mouth and told a fellow soldier, “Shoot me. Shoot me in the f***ing face.”
The video was tagged with the line, “Get shot or see her with someone else?”
The comments on the clip were praising the idea of suicide and self-harm, as many comments suggested the users were “dead inside” due to their never-ending loneliness.
One account even commented that they would be taking their own life later that day.
The research group warned that the TikTok algorithms were a grave danger to many young American men.
Co-author says it’s “terribly difficult” to break the trend the algorithm puts you in
Maen Hammad, one of the authors of the Ekō study said that “the algorithm forces you into a spiral of depression, hopelessness, and self-harm, and it’s terribly difficult to get out of that spiral once the algorithm thinks it knows what you want to see.”
He explained that in just “ten minutes and a few clicks on TikTok is all that is needed to fall” into the spiral that exposes users to “the darkest and most harmful content online.”
Hammad added that it’s “extremely alarming to see how easy it is for children to fall into this spiral.”
This isn’t the first time TikTok has been accused of spreading content that promotes physical harm.
Argentine news media broke a story earlier this year about a 12-year-old girl who died while playing a “choking challenge” in which she was asphyxiated on camera for a TikTok video.
Numerous teens have participated in these dangerous viral challenges, and what’s worse is that they are filmed and then glorified on the app.
Earlier in this year, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) proposed raising the legal age for social media subscribers to sixteen years of age.
Although, it’s difficult to see how this would make a noticeable impact on the trends.
US Political Daily will keep you updated on any developments to this ongoing story.