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TikTok Takes More Steps To Combat Dangerous Challenges

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TikTok is acting against the continued spread of dangerous challenges and hoaxes on its platform. The company said it surveyed over 10,000 teens, parents, and teachers across multiple countries, along with the U.S. and UK.

The findings of this survey reveal that at least 31% of teens participated in an online challenge of some kind. Teens were also asked about the risk level of each challenge they found online. To this, roughly 48% of them said the challenge was safe, whereas 32% said it had some risk, while 14% of them deemed it as dangerous or risky. Around 3% of the respondents said the challenges were “very dangerous.”

Only 0.3% of the teens participating in the survey said they took part in a dangerous challenge. TikTik’s study further finds that 46% of the teens on the platform seek more information and would like to understand the risks involved.

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TikTok is also updating its Safety Center with tips on identifying hoaxes or dangerous challenges

Moreover, 31% of the respondents said that hoaxes related to suicide and self-harm had a negative impact on them personally. This issue isn’t just specific to teens, however. Nearly 37% of the adult respondents said they couldn’t debunk or discuss self-harm-related hoaxes without attracting unnecessary attention.

TikTok claims it removes hoaxes on its platforms and takes the necessary steps to limit its reach. But the company also acknowledges that it needs to do more.

“The research showed how warnings about self-harm hoaxes — even if shared with the best of intentions — can impact the well-being of teens since they often treat the hoax as real,” TikTok said in a release (via).

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“While we already remove and take action to limit the spread of hoaxes of this nature, to further protect our community we will start to remove alarmist warnings about them as they could cause harm by treating the self-harm hoax as real. We will continue to allow conversations to take place that seek to dispel panic and promote accurate information.”

TikTok is also updating its Safety Center with information on recognizing hoaxes and harmful challenges. Additionally, the platform is adding technology that can detect a spike in “violating content linked to hashtags.”

So whenever a user searches for content that has been identified as a dangerous challenge or hoax, they will immediately see a warning label with links to its Safety Center. TikTok said it worked closely with a behavioral scientist and a clinical child psychiatrist to make the new warning labels easier to understand.

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TikTok Dangerous Challenges and Hoaxes Chart