A BIZARRE viral TikTok trend is causing users to post porn and violent content as their profile picture to take advantage of a loophole on the platform.
Porn and violence are banned on TikTok but it seems posting that content as a profile picture can go unnoticed.
A loophole on TikTok has seen users post porn and violent videosCredit: AFP
The trend is called “Don’t search this up” and BBC News alerted TikTok to the worrying craze.
Hashtags used to promote the trend are now banned and TikTok is deleting profiles which partake.
As a large proportion of TikTok users are under 18, the trend is extremely concerning.
BBC News claims it saw hardcore pornography and “an Islamic State group video of the murder of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh” set as profile pictures on the app.
The BBC alerted TikTok to the issue and they are trying to resolve itCredit: AFP
One teenage user told the BBC: “I’ve seen gore and hardcore porn and I’m really concerned about this because so many kids use TikTok.
“I find it especially worrying that there are posts with millions of views specifically pointing out these profiles, yet it takes ages for TikTok to act.”
The problem seems to be that TikTok users can set a video as their profile picture and the platform has found this harder to monitor than if pornography was posted as a normal video on their account.
According to the BBC, offending accounts often have no other videos but thousands of followers waiting for another obscene video to be put as a profile picture.
These accounts are said to be appearing on the TikTok For You Page, which relies on TikTok’s algorithm to give users video recommendations.
A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement: “We have permanently banned accounts that attempted to circumvent our rules via their profile photo and we have disabled hashtags including #dontsearchthisup.
“Our safety team is continuing their analysis and we will continue to take all necessary steps to keep our community safe.”
TikTok: Brief guide to the world’s most downloaded app
- TikTok lets users create and share short videos with music and camera effects
- The hit app is best known for short dance videos, lip-syncing clips, comedy sketches, and talent footage
- It is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, founded by the entrepreneur Zhang Yiming
- The $200billion conglomerate acquired the Musical.ly app in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, bringing millions of new users
- By February 2019, TikTok and Douyin had been downloaded more than a billion times
- It was the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019
- Cyber experts have expressed concern over ByteDance’s alleged links to the Chinese government
- The Department of Defense has urged its employees to avoid using the app over national security concerns
- TikTok says it does not and would not share user data with the Chinese government
In other news, Apple has finally revealed its highly anticipated AirTag product that can attach to your keys so you never lose them again.
Eight scam apps that steal their users’ texts and cash have been discovered by cyber security researchers.
And, Facebook is trialling a video call speed dating app called Sparked.
Have you had issues with TikTok? Let us know in the comments…
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]