(ConservativeSense.com) – Research conducted by corporate accountability group Ekō has found that TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app, is targeting young people and inundating them with videos featuring suicide, as well as deeply misogynistic ideas.
The app’s algorithms are extremely sensitive and promote increasingly extreme content on to very young users. The research found that watching only 10 videos on a particular topic will produce a list of recommendations along the same vein and with no limit on the extremity.
Particularly prevalent in the research was the “incel community” that has a strong and growing presence online. Incels are men who unite around their lack of success with women and promote an extremely misogynistic belief system.
The study was conducted by volunteers opening nine new accounts. They listed their age as 13 and then set about searching for incel content. They were very quickly bombarded with subject matter that was more and more extreme.
Videos endorsing suicide were included in the content related to the incel clips, and these led the researchers toward a barrage of equally disturbing recordings. Maen Hammad, the co-author of the study, said, “The algorithm forces you into a spiral of depression, hopelessness, and self-harm, and it’s terribly difficult to get out of that spiral once the algorithm thinks it knows what you want to see.”
TikTok has been described as a hazard by senior figures across the American political and law enforcement structure. The leaders of both the FBI and CIA have called it a security threat, largely because of its ability to gather data on users and its highly advanced algorithms. Federal employees have been banned from having the app on their government-issued devices, and this action has also been taken by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The app has been banned outright in some countries including its once-largest marketplace India, as well as some Islamic countries which have described it as incompatible with their values.
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