I’m appalled by the info that’s come out of this story, & hope by sharing it here, you’ll help share it beyond the few traditional media outlets that gave it some ink.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was brought to DC Thursday to testify in front of Congress & address lawmakers’ concerns abt the platform.
The parents of a teenager Chase Nasca, 16, who died by suicide in Feb of 2022, became emotional (caught in this pic), as Rep. Gus Bilirakis from FL, shared their son’s story. As someone who grew up on LI this story hits very close to home.
Rep Bilirakis quoted the CEO’s claim that TT’s “‘For You’ page is a window for discovery” & instead said: “it was a window to discover suicide.”
In the parent’s lawsuit it’s alleged that: “TT selected & sent thousands of unsolicited suicidal videos directly to Chase’s ‘For You’ page even though he’d never searched for such material.” Chase’s searches included: bench press tips, Attack on Titan opening song, Trae Young best moments, Batman, gym motivation, etc.
What he got from TT according to the suit was: suicide-themed songs to make videos more impactful, as well as trending suicide hashtags to ensure max amplification.
On top of that – what was shared was some of the content TT generally promotes on these pages. It’s the last slide here➡️ bc I wanted to give a warning that it’s disturbing. It glorifies death/suicide. It’s disgusting.
I put together a zoom call this past Thurs nt w friends I’ve met thru social who’ve lost children to suicide. 15 of us spent 3 hrs together, sharing grief, loss, tears, & also hope/inspiration. My heart breaks for these parents/fams, & to see these social companies do THIS crap to these kids on top of the bullying & other challenges kids face, it’s appalling.
I shared a post on IG I recently put up➡️, & its ‘views’ statistics. You’ll see for an acct with 31k+ followers, how they suppress. IG too has an “Explore” page, like TT’s page. That’s how things go wide/viral. Look at how they suppress posts trying to normalize/help/comfort arnd the topic of suicide, while instead amplifying harmful/disgusting msgs that draw kids in.