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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Engagement on TikTok hashtags linked to eating disorder content is rising, new research finds

New research says that engagement on TikTok hashtags linking to eating disorder content is still rising.

Analysis from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate uncovered that the number of views on “coded” hashtags – which is widely known to lead to “thinspo” – is getting more and more engagement after they identified the problem back in December; a total of 56 tags.

According to the group, 35 of them showcased a lot of pro-eating disorder video while 21 involved a mix of dangerous views and productive debate.

Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate told Sky News: “TikTok is clearly capable of adding warnings to English language content that might harm but is choosing not to implement this for English language content in the UK.

“There can be no clearer example of the way the enforcement of purportedly universal rules of these platforms are actually implemented partially, selectively, and only when platforms feel under real pressure by governments.”

“Despite an outcry from parents, politicians and the general public, three months later this content continues to grow and spread unchecked.

“Every view represents a potential victim – someone whose mental health might be harmed by negative body image content, someone who might start restricting their diet to dangerously low levels.”

In response to the allegations, a TikTok rep said: “Our community guidelines are clear that we do not allow the promotion, normalisation or glorification of eating disorders, and we have removed content mentioned in this report that violates these rules.

“We are open to feedback and scrutiny, and we seek to engage constructively with partners who have expertise on these complex issues, as we do with NGOs in the US and UK.”

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