TikTok struggles to remove video of man committing suicide circulating on Chinese app

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Parents have been urged to keep their children and teenagers away from TikTok after vision began circulating of a man committing suicide.

The Chinese-run social media app is still struggling to delete the graphic video, which features a 33-year-old man from the US taking his own life.

The disturbing video, which is too graphic to share, was originally live-streamed on Facebook before making its way to the video-sharing app early on Tuesday.

But on TikTok, snippets of the video are not only widely accessible but are even being recommended to users without warnings. 

The Chinese-run social media app is still struggling to delete the graphic video, which features a 33-year-old man from the US as he ended his life

The Chinese-run social media app is still struggling to delete the graphic video, which features a 33-year-old man from the US as he ended his life

A spokeswoman for TikTok confirmed the suicide video had been circulating.

She insisted the platform was doing all it could to remove the content in a timely matter.  

‘Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide,’ she said.

A spokeswoman for TikTok confirmed the suicide video had been circulating. She insisted the platform was doing all it could to remove the content in a timely matter

A spokeswoman for TikTok confirmed the suicide video had been circulating. She insisted the platform was doing all it could to remove the content in a timely matter

‘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.’

The app has a safety centre which has access to suicide hotlines for any users who were distressed by the footage. 

In spite of their efforts, the man’s name was trending on TikTok Australia on Tuesday morning, as were several clips of young people who explained that they were traumatised after watching the video.

The video prompted Bellevue Hill Public School in Sydney’s eastern suburbs to issue a warning letter to parents about the video on Tuesday.

‘We strongly recommend that you also be extra vigilant with the supervision of your child’s social media use until this content is removed,’ the letter supplied to Daily Mail Australia states.

‘We have also received reports that trolls are using videos of puppies and kittens to lure children into see the video.’

Parents are urged to speak to their children if they have viewed the footage. 

The video sparked schools to issue a warning letter to parents, including this one in Sydney's eastern suburbs

The video sparked schools to issue a warning letter to parents, including this one in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

Facebook removed the video from the platform on the same day that it was uploaded, and has been working to ensure any copies of the video are also deleted.

The streaming service was criticised last year after Brenton Tarrant was able to live stream the Christchurch mosque mass murder in New Zealand.

A Facebook spokeswoman said: “Our thoughts remain with (the victim’s) family and friends during this difficult time.’  

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 

Parents have been urged to keep their children and teenagers away from TikTok after vision began circulating of a man committing suicide

Parents have been urged to keep their children and teenagers away from TikTok after vision began circulating of a man committing suicide

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