TikTok, the most popular social media app for teenagers, may increase a user’s risk of mental illness, eating disorders and suicide.
Need a Texas TikTok Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you believe that TikTok or other social media caused you or your loved one’s suicide, eating disorder or mental health issue, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
UPDATE: Lawsuit Claims 7 Children Died from TikTok’s Blackout Challenge
The parents of an 8-year-old girl from Texas who died while attempting the “Blackout Challenge” have filed a lawsuit against TikTok.
In May 2022, an angry mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok after her 10-year-old daughter died while performing the Blackout Challenge. The lawsuit claims that TikTok’s algorithm showed her the dangerous “blackout challenge” videos in her “For You” section on the app.
WSJ: How TikTok Can Lead to a Black Hole of Depression Content
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a social media app that lets users create, watch and share short videos that last between 15 seconds and 3 minutes. It is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. and launched in 2018. By 2021, TikTok had 1 billion active users worldwide and overtook Google and Facebook to become the most popular site on the internet.
TikTok is the most popular social media app for teenagers in the U.S., even more popular than Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. It is also notoriously addictive, especially for teens with short attention spans.
Users can quickly swipe through videos, and depending on what they watch and interact with, TikTok’s algorithms will send them more and more content that it thinks they will like. Because it works so well, users can easily become addicted and spend hours a day on TikTok.
What is the Problem?
This is harmless most of the time, but it can be dangerous or even deadly — particularly in the case of dangerous “TikTok challenges,” or content that promotes anorexia, depression, violence, or suicide.
Young people may also be vulnerable to falling into a pit of depression or eating disorders after TikTok enables them to watch hours upon hours of harmful content. In severe cases, this can lead to suicide.
What is the Risk?
- Suicidal ideation / attempts
- Emotional disorders (anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.)
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, etc.)
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Sexual abuse or exploitation
- Other mental health issues
- And more
Teen Girls’ Sexy Videos on TikTok Take Mental Health Toll
In February 2022, an investigation by the Wall Street Journal highlighted the mental health risks of TikTok for teenage girls.
Teenage girls may be tempted to post sexualized content to get attention on TikTok — but after doing so, they often feel anxious and overwhelmed by the response from creepy men and boys.
TikTok’s “recommendation engine” can be particularly dangerous for teenage girls, according to the WSJ.
Unlike most other social media platforms, TikTok regularly chooses videos from virtual nobodies — people who new to TikTok who do not have many followers — and promotes those videos to millions of people.
Teenage girls may quickly learn that they can use sexualized videos to get attention. This was what happened to Jula, a high-school aged girl from California who said:
“I wanted to get famous on TikTok, and I learned that if you post stuff showing your body, people will start liking it.”
Soon after Jula downloaded TikTok in 2019, she shared a video of herself dancing and singing in a tight-fitting tank top. TikTok’s algorithm promoted the video, and it was seen by more than 1 million people.
Her comments were inundated by males saying how hot she looked, she gained more than 200,000 followers, and she started making more sexualized videos — including singing lyrics about sex and wearing revealing clothing.
Need a TikTok Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.