The now-removed video initially duped viewers into thinking they were watching a typical TikTok dance video, only to cut to an explicit clip of a man being beheaded in a bathroom.
She called out health care misinfo on TikTok. Then, the trolls found her.
Savannah Sparks made it her mission to hold health care workers she believes are behaving badly accountable on TikTok. When trolls started threatening her life, she stepped away from the platform.On screen, sandwiched between two sparkle emojis, the woman, who said she was a pharmacy technician, had written, "Most common meds I've filled that cause cancer." She then went on to claim medications like hormonal birth control, cholesterol medications and chemotherapy were cancer causing.
In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for TikTok said: "We appreciate the concerted effort by our community to warn about an unconscionably graphic clip from another site that was spliced into a video and brought onto TikTok.
"The original video was quickly removed, and our systems are proactively detecting and blocking attempted re-uploads of the clip to catch malicious behaviour before the content can receive views. We apologize to those in our community, including our moderators, who may have come upon this content."
This specific video has since been added to TikTok's "Hashbank" system, which now automatically detects it before it's posted.
For TikTok, this video could prove potentially damaging in terms of the trust of app users and its relationship with them.
Parental consent needed to get COVID-19 shot? Here's how some teens are approaching their anti-vaccine families.
Most states require parental consent for vaccines. But if a parent says no, what can teens do?“I got on the internet and realized there were thousands of people who disagreed with my mom,” Lindenberger, now 20, told USA TODAY. “Then I realized I needed to get vaccinated. I needed to do it not just for my community but for everyone’s safety.
"Any time something so graphic and horrifying is posted and disseminated online on a platform like TikTok that is used by so many, especially teens and younger generations, it's going to have major effects on how users feel about the platform," explained Attila Tomaschek, a digital privacy expert and researcher at ProPrivacy.
"Particularly because the video deliberately tricks users into clicking on it by claiming its subject matter is something altogether different, users are feeling apprehensive about using the app and clicking on a seemingly innocent video, only to be instead insidiously bombarded by something unequivocally gruesome."
A 20-year-old TikTok user, Ry, told Newsweek they skipped using the app while the video was there, and wants more action in place to prevent it again.
"I decided to avoid TikTok, not wanting to see death on an app for entertainment. I avoided it for a few days before realizing the video was seemingly removed from the platform."
TikTok hired some of its best animators for an anti-bullying campaign
Part of moderation is setting the right tone, TikTok saysThe spots also highlight TikTok’s vibrant animation community. The platform has been a boon for animators, who have found that its short format makes it possible for them to create good and consistent output that stands apart from the pack and hooks viewers. One of the creators, King Science, has 11.6 million followers, putting him among the platform’s most followed users. The campaign also features AmyRightMeow, Recokh, Kelly Emmrich, Rosie.gif, and milkymichii.
"I hope for a better filter as to what is posted on TikTok. I would like to know that videos are being actively monitored, and that videos with extreme violent content are taken down as soon as possible," they added.
A 16-year-old TikTok user, Justin, saw the video, and was left "traumatized," by it, leaving his "hands shaking" and "heartbeat still for a second."
"Currently, I'm not watching TikTok that often anymore. I'm just in my 'Following' page so I only see videos from people I follow," he said, commenting on how the relationship with TikTok was changed by the video.
Although TikTok responded sternly to the crisis, the video managed to reach a wide audience prior to its removal, many of which have claimed online to have been left "traumatized" by it and many, like Justin, were minors.
"Because TikTok is geared towards a younger audience than most other social media platforms, its responsibility in containing the dissemination of these types of videos is inherently greater than it is for others," said Tomaschek.
"TikTok needs to remain a safe environment for younger generations to share videos and communicate with one another online. When such graphic content weasels its way into the mix, then the integrity of that safe environment is compromised. TikTok has a massive responsibility to prevent this type of content from ending up on its platform and to remedy the situation quickly if and when it does," added Tomaschek.
A song called 'Discord' is going viral on TikTok, but not all creators realize it's a fan-made 'My Little Pony' song popular among 'bronies'
A song about a "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" villain written by Eurobeat Brony and remixed by The Living Tombstone is popular on TikTok.The song "Discord," which was created by a fan and based on a villain from the cartoon series "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" (frequently abbreviated as "MLP"), began circulating on TikTok months ago. Originally released in 2011 by a Eurobeat artist known as Eurobeat Brony, the most well-known version of the song online is a remix released in 2012 by The Living Tombstone.
In recent months, TikTok has actively attempted to reform its image as a teenager-friendly app. As of January, under-16 users automatically have their accounts set to private when created, and their videos can't be downloaded by other users.
Moreover, 13-15 year olds also only have the option of "friends" or "no one" commenting on their content.
Gaia Beck, tech expert and founder of child-orientated app Chipping In, predicts that the recent moderation mishap by TikTok could unsurprisingly worsen its reputation in the eyes of parents.
"What's alarming is that it took nothing more than a short cover video to blindside their filters and let gratuitously gory content slip through. Any parent would ask themselves 'what else could be hiding behind seemingly innocent videos?'" she told Newsweek.
"For the video to be able to go viral before TikTok was even aware of its presence, gives the impression that they don't have the current measures in place to catch future offensive and explicit videos before it's too late. I'm sure many parents are now thinking twice before allowing their children to scroll so much uncensored content."
Of course, TikTok isn't the first, and likely won't be the last, social media platform to accidentally allow graphic content on its platform, but unlike other social media sites, TikTok's For You Page allows videos to reach viral-level much quicker and wider than them.
YouTube vs. TikTok boxing live stream: How to watch Battle of the Platforms fights on LiveXLive PPV
Austin McBroom vs. Bryce Hall headlines a boxing event pitting YouTube stars against TikTok stars. Here's how you can watch.We'll attempt to find out the answer to that question on Saturday in Battle of the Platforms, an event pitting YouTube stars against TikTok stars in a boxing match. The headline fight will be Austin McBroom vs. Bryce Hall, which has some intrigue as the two have had a back-and-forth before the fight started.
So how did such a graphic video manage to slip through TikTok's seemingly tight-knit net?
One TikTok content moderator told Newsweek that the spliced technique likely "tricked" the AI system in place. When a video is shared on the app, an AI server automatically moderates it, searching for content like nudity, death and gore. However, they told Newsweek that users reformat videos multiple times in order to finally get it past the AI moderation. Only when a video reaches 500 views is it then sent to be moderated by a human.
The recent viral video isn't the only one to move under the radar and get through the initial moderation, added the content moderator, as they often see "funny clips or dances" that when slowed down show nudity or or other guideline breaches.
"Not much can be done to prevent these with current systems. We try and stop the wrong ones, but there will be one offs. Humans make errors, but AI systems get tricked too," they add.
"They need to get this stuff fixed quickly," summarised Justin, echoing the thoughts of many TikTok users.
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Europe picks through rubble from deluge as death toll soars .
Troops and firefighters were called in Saturday to help villagers launch a mammoth clean up after the worst floods to hit western Europe in decades left over 150 people dead and dozens more missing. In neighbouring Belgium, the death toll jumped to 20 with more than 21,000 people left without electricity in one region. Luxembourg and the Netherlands were also hammered by heavy rains, inundating many areas and forcing thousands to be evacuated in the city of Maastricht.Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel called the situation in many parts of his country "dramatic" and said the financial damage was "huge".