Musical.ly Criticised After Failing To Block Self-Harming Content
12 March 2018, 11:23
The lip-synching app came under fire after an online publication found sensitive images were easily viewable and shareable among it's young audience.
NOTE: This article contains discussion of self-harm which some readers may find disturbing.
The makers behind lip-synching app Musical.ly has been heavily criticised for failing to block hashtags that allow users to search for content related to self-harm and eating disorders.
Buzzfeed News reports that the app will now be blocking certain hashtags after a piece published by Medium found that terms including #proana, #cutting and #selfhate were easily searchable. The app has a huge following of young kids, despite its age rating of 13+, thanks to its recent surge in popularity among YouTubers and online personalities.
Musical.ly have now blocked the ability to search for these and other terms within the app however they are still present, with Buzzfeed finding that by searching safer terms like #depression, the more disturbing content will still appear in timelines.
The app launched in 2014 and has since amassed over 60m monthly users. The company confirmed to Buzzfeed that they are currently looking into installing a warning system similar to Instagram's which includes a link to support resources.
If you are somebody you know is struggling with self-harm, you can find details of help organisations at this link.