A fresh wave of bad news haunts TikTok

A fresh wave of bad news haunts TikTok
TikTok has been the motive behind three unfortunate incidents over the past weekTikTok

  • In the last one week, three separate incidents have been reported when users have harmed themselves while creating TikTok videos.
  • A 20-year old man was arrested for snatching a phone, a woman killed herself when her husband told her not to use the video sharing app and a young boy ‘accidentally’ shot himself while posing for a video.
  • Doctors are reporting that digital addiction can be as bad as drug addiction if users forget to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
TikTok only recently made its claim to fame as the most downloaded app on Android for the first quarter of 2019. As all things too good to be true, the Bytedance-owned app is experiencing many bad and unfortunate incidents.

In the last one week, three separate incidents have been attributed to individuals acting illegally or carelessly in order to create that ‘perfect’ video on TikTok.

How far would you go for a video?

A 20-year old man from Delhi was arrested for snatching an iPhone to make ‘better quality’ videos for his TikTok account yesterday.

The thief told the police that his videos weren’t getting enough views and viewers repeatedly commented asking him to get a new phone to shoot better videos. So, he lured a person looking to sell his iPhone XS out into the open and had his phone snatched by bikers, as he showed up to make the deal.


In a different part of the country — Tamil Nadu — a woman killed herself by drinking poison after her husband scolded her, and prevented her from using TikTok. She made a video of herself drinking poison and sent it to her husband over WhatsApp, who was in Singapore.

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of one of our community members and extend our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones in this difficult time. At TikTok, we are committed to maintaining a safe and positive in-app environment for our users. We encourage our users to showcase their creativity, however, TikTok in no way endorses or promotes videos that violate our community guidelines that includes harm to oneself or others.

Statement by TikTok

And, in the state of Maharashtra, a boy ‘ accidentally’ shot himself while posing for a TikTok video with a gun.

This isn’t even the first time that such incidents have occurred. The rate at which users are putting themselves at risk for validation from social media has doctors worried. They are concerned about the perils of digital addiction and the extent to which they can get in the way of day-to-day activities.

An addiction is addictive, afterall

Digital addiction is real and it could be as dangerous as drug addiction, warned psychiatrists while outlining practical ways to fight the urge to use gadgets non-stop, both among children and adults.

"The two most important things that people have to do is maintain a balance between work, life indoor, outdoor recreation and social engagements. One must also ensure they are getting proper sleep. It is essential," according to Samir Parikh, Director at the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences at Fortis Healthcare.

Digital Detox

Parikh recommended that adults should undergo a four hours of "digital detox" every week - a period when they do not use their phone or any gadget.

"If one finds it difficult to go through those four hours, then there is a problem which needs to be addressed," he said.

Such people can neglect personal hygiene and their own self. They also tend to stop interacting with the society, their family members and stop thinking about their responsibilities or stop doing their day-to-day chores.

The key to fighting digital addiction is to realise the problem when someone develops it, the experts said.

(with inputs from IANS)

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