TikTok has started an investigation on their app that has resulted in the banning of search terms related to harmful pro-weight loss information.
It looks like TikTok is investigating a concerning trend on the app that is promoting starvation and anorexia. Eating disorders are a problem that still exists today, and it is a problem that is heavily prominent among teens. Body image is something many struggle with, and part of it is due to social media and the projection of what a “perfect” body should look like. This has created dangerous trends to pop up on apps that our teens use regularly and it is important to make sure we are aware.
According to The Guardian, TikTok has started an investigation on their app that has resulted in the banning of search terms. However, the news outlet was still able to find pro-anorexia content on the app despite the measures they have taken.
TikTok is incredibly popular for those between the ages of 16 and 24, and they have out in new restrictions on weight-loss ads after they received criticism for promoting dangerous diets and fads. Even thought they had blocked certain search hashtags and words, people were still able to find these pages and creators that were promoting the dangerous ideal of starvation. When TikTok was presented with this, they decided to launch another investigation to make sure everything is taken off the app.
One account in specific showed messages from a girl who said that she wanted tips to lose weight, both healthy and unhealthy tips. Another account asked those who came across their page to follow them for “low calorie” safe food when you don’t want to purge.
The report, which was also shared by Newsbreak, covered information also shared by Ysabel Gerrard, who is a lecturer in digital media and society at the University of Sheffield. Ysabel reported that it can take as little as 30 seconds to find a “pro-eating disorder” account on TikTok. This is concerning information for parents, because this means that the information is not hard to come across.
The other concern with an app like TikTok is that your “for you page” is influenced by who you follow and what videos you interact with. All it takes is for one teen to follow or like one of these videos for their page to be flooded with similar content.
Social media outlets need to make this a priority and get it under control, because it could quickly turn into a serious problem. Moms everywhere are hoping that this investigation the app has launched will help to curb this problem.
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Sources: The Guardian, Newsbreak
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