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Tiktok wants to help prevent eating disorders and suicides

When entering certain terms in the search mask of the social media app TikTok, the user now receives additional information in order to prevent possible self-destructive behavior. When entering words such as “suicide” or “I want to die”, the message “Show resources for advice and help” and the number of the national telephone counseling service including a call option appear first. The results for the search query, however, are hidden.

Advice and help with mental health problems

(Image: TikTok)

TikTok differentiates between content that, for example, provides insights into healing processes and can have a positive effect, or content that glorifies suicide, eating disorders and similar self-destructive acts. The latter are a violation of the platform’s rules. In addition to the integration of the pastoral care phone numbers, TikTok plans to supplement the current warning notices for potentially disturbing content. At the moment there is only a hint of potentially disturbing content for a few search words – for example “scary make-up”. Such content is only visible to users as soon as they click to confirm that they want to see the content anyway.

Whether social media and the content available there can negatively impact mental health is a widely debated topic. Most recently, internal Facebook documents revealed that the social media platform Instagram in particular could have a negative impact on the self-perception of young people.

If you are depressed yourself, if you have suicidal thoughts, please contact them Telephone counseling on the Internet or via the free hotlines 0800 1110111 or 0800 11102223.


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