TikTok has been criticised for hosting a video of a man taking his own life.
Ronnie McNutt, an Iraq War veteran from Mississippi, live streamed his own death on Facebook and the disturbing footage has since found its way onto the video sharing social network popular with teenagers.
TikTok is trying to scrub the platform of the video, which has reportedly appeared on the ‘For You’ tab of the app. Users who upload the disturbing footage are also being issued with an immediate ban from the website.
Users have been warning other users of the site to be vigilant of a video with a thumbnail image of a man with a grey beard sitting at a desk.
There have also been reports of footage from the clip being spliced into innocuous looking videos by malicious users.
What has TikTok said?
TikTok acknowledged the presence of the video which has plagued the site since Sunday night (6 September).
A spokesperson said: “our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.
“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips, and we appreciate our community members who’ve reported content and warned others against watching, engaging, or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family.”
The spokesperson added: “If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support, and we provide access to hotlines directly from our app and in our Safety Center.”
Who was Ronnie McNutt?
Ronnie McNutt, 33, was described by his local church as “very caring, committed, loyal, dependable, and eccentric”.
He served in the Iraq War and more recently lived and worked at a Toyota plant in Blue Springs, New Albany.
A representative for the Celebration Church Tupelo said, "In the midst of a sudden tragedy that occurred last night, we grieve with the McNutt Family during this time because passing of our brother in Christ, Ronnie McNutt".
It added: "We love and pray for everyone in the McNutt family, Celebration Church, and those affected by Ronnie’s passing.
"We can take comfort in our Shepard’s arms by drawing near to Him during this time, having Him comfort us while we grieve with those who grieve. God Bless!"
How to report disturbing content on TikTok
Users of the app can report abuse, spam, or anything else that doesn’t follow TikTok’s Community Guidelines within the app.
To report an account, go to the profile in question, tap the settings icon and tap ‘Report’.
To report a video open the video and tap the ‘Share’ icon, then tap ‘Report’ and follow the steps in the app.
If you or anyone you know have been having suicidal thoughts, or are anxious, depressed, upset, or simply need to talk Samaritans can help. Call them on 116 123 or email them at [email protected]