TikTok combats suicide searches | World Branding Discussion board
TikTok has decided to take a step in the right direction by making the app safer for people with mental health issues. New features include wellbeing guides and support for people struggling with eating disorders. There is also a search intervention feature that directs users to support resources when they search for terms like “suicide”.
The move comes as competing platform Instagram is being re-examined for its impact on user wellbeing. In TikToks Notice They noted, “We care deeply about our community and we are always looking for new ways to promote its well-being. That’s why we’re taking additional steps to make it easier for people to find resources on TikTok when they need them. “
A report by the Education Policy Institute and The Princes Trust earlier this year found that teenagers’ mental health has been harmed from heavy use of social media. The new resources that TikTok said will roll out globally in the coming months include an expanded guide on eating disorders and a feature that directs users to local support like a line of crisis text when searching for terms like suicide.
The study reported that mental health issues were associated with negative well-being and self-esteem regardless of a young person’s mental state, with more girls experiencing depression and hopelessness.
According to the report, TikTok has been researching the app’s effects on the psychological wellbeing of its younger users for at least two years. The paper also states that research has repeatedly found that it is harmful to a large proportion of users, especially teenage girls.
TikTok, like its competing social media platforms, has been extensively researched for its effects on the mental health of its users. The problem has appeared multiple times over the years and continues to be an issue that apparently has no way of resolving itself.
Young people have access to and will use social media. The platforms they have access to have not created an opportunity to help their young audiences. TikTok has made an impressive start considering it’s time in the market.