TikTok’s Hidden Dark Web

Tiktok has billions of people using it. Since 2019, after “Dumbsmash”, another familiar app Tiktok has gotten more than half of the world on its active services everyday.

TikTok is fun, for most part where you can do challenges, re create videos with yourself or your friends and showcase literally any other talent you have.
Since it’s a free app on a social media platform people use it in ways they like. Sometimes those ways, can be amusing or informative and other times just bizarre.

Today we’re gonna dive into the dark web of Tiktok, that includes bizarre strange accounts and life threatening challenges, and extreme graphics that shouldn’t be so openly displayed to the public eye.

Let’s start off, with the absurd life taking TikTok challenges such as Challenge of the Milk Crate. Stacking many milk crates into a stair structure and striving to ascend to the summit is the latest craze. While the challenge appears straightforward, the piled milk crates provide a less-than-
stable climbing surface. What’s the end result? Countless films of unsuspecting climbers plummeting from milk container towers.
Medical experts have come out against the challenge, citing the clear potential of serious damage. Dr. Shawn Anthony, an orthopedic specialist, told Today, “The Milk Crate Challenge is quite risky, and we are seeing many orthopedic injuries as a result of the falls.” “Breaks in the wrists, shoulder dislocations, ACL and meniscus tears, as well as life-threatening conditions like spinal cord injuries” are among the injuries that can occur.

Another challenge known as the Baby Swing Challenge, users are squeezing themselves into baby-sized playground swings in this crazy TikTok fad. While the stunt may make for an amusing video, the difficulty arises when they are unable to escape. Emergency calls in the United Kingdom have increased in the last year, according to first responders, and this trend is partly to
blame.

One UK firefighter told The Sun, “This obsession is probably to blame for the spike [in emergency calls].” “We have more important things to do than yanking teens from swings because they think it’s funny.” A house fire might be murdering people while we’re dealing with them.”

Apart from such challenges, TikTok also has a dark web. Dark web content includes child abuse, sexual harassment, rape, pedophilia, gang violence, murder, xenophobia, racism, bullying and anything in between.

These can include animal or human torture both. For example, in September 2021 a suicide video went viral on TikTok. The death was extensively publicized on the site, and famous users finally offered tips on how to recognize and avoid the movie before it outplayed.

The fatality occurred almost a week after the “attack” on TikTok, prompting the firm to suggest a “global coalition” to help protect consumers from such terrible content.

Everest Basharat, 21 year old male studying in IOBM (Institute of Business Management) was an active user of the app until he got targeted as a victim of such events. In his own words he explained

At first it seemed seemingly harmless, since I never did these things before and when I would do it with some other person they would hype me up even more. But as I went on and on, it got to me at a point where it had me at my mental and physical well-being. I would suffer in anxiety and migraines since it was all very mentally draining. I had almost fifty-six thousand followers at some point and I thought I had to create content one way or another just to keep them entertained, but I’m only a human being and this all eventually took a toll on me. I even remember getting my ankle twisted and a few bruises on my cheeks and stomach when I used to do such stunts.” He said. “Scars are beautiful only if they come from a place of a loving memory, there’s nothing loving in such bizarre circumstances, only to keep your so called viewers happy who don’t even care if you’re dead the other day it’s stupidity. I would never ever wish such so on my worst enemies even…” he further added.

Everest lost his account but gained what he lost through all the trauma he survived in. Now he shares his side of story to create awareness in users specially teens who are more vulnerable in such situations.

Everest is just one of the victims of such events, who still to this day carry their traumas with them. Also, TikTok does not have viewer digression, or any flash warning/s for its viewers for any of its videos unlike other social media apps such as Instagram or Facebook. This is a major issue because without such warnings, anyone can peek into any video without realizing how much torture it can provide to them mentally if not physically. The distrain it produces can lead to depression, anxiety, migraines and even seizures. Is this something to ponder on?

Yes it sure is, since TikTok is a widely used app right now with
more than 7 million+ online users, increasing each and everyday this isn’t something to take non seriously.

So what can be done? How can this issue be fixed to some extent?

Well, as therapist AJ from Agha Khan University says

TikTok needs to hold such people accountable for the kind of acts they perform, it should ban their accounts and shut down their data PERMANENTLY to avoid further distress. Violation policies should be followed in every other way, regardless of the number of following your have. Graphic images and videos should have flash warnings due to their sensitivity. If there is something that is hindering or affecting one’s mental or physical health in a negative
way it should not be further promoted.”
She quotes.

Mrs. AJ also believes that people who have such a huge platform on TikTok should create mass awareness within their followers or more in order to help others know better about what’s going on.

Due to such inappropriate acts, someone’s child could die or something even worse perhaps and no one would care unless it’s theirs. We shouldn’t be this delusional and should wake up those who are sleeping. Eyes wide opened, yet sleeping.” She further adds how awareness could not only be done through TikTok on the app alone but campaigns, social media posts, TV shows, advertisements, short films, magazines, basically spreading the news through any network and in any way possible.

Also as a side note, with TikTok advancing everyday with new effects or upcoming challenges, fixing bugs it can also improve this area as well. And of-course, it should if it wants to stay intact for the next 10–15 years.

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Madiha Mustafa

Madiha Mustafa

A media student in IOBM who loves photography and a lot more :)