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Musical.ly under fire for self-harm and eating-disorder videos


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“One word sums up my experience: Nowayismykidgettingthisapp.”

blog post by a parent about social-music app Musical.ly has been getting wide circulation in recent days, with some scathing criticism of the kind of videos that are being shared within the app.

“The worst thing is watching little kids (as young as eight) sexually objectify themselves. The kids who get it right (the tweeny Kardashians) gain followers. The kids who get it wrong — those not ‘sexy’ enough, funny enough, savvyy enough — are openly ridiculed in the comment section,” wrote Anastasia Basil.

“There are #killingstalking musical.lys, which are dark-themed (artistic? emo?) videos showing boys putting knives to girls’ throats. There are #selfharm videos that show suicide options… There are #cutter and #triggerwarning and #anorexic videos. Musers with eating disorders hashtag videos using proana (code for pro anorexia.) I found over eleven thousand #selfhate videos. It goes on and on.”

Musical.ly has since blocked search terms including #proana and #mutilation, although posts that use those hashtags remain available to view if found by other means.

“For an app that is primarily aimed at children, moderating conversations about #proana or #cutting seems obvious,” suggested BuzzFeed.

Stuart Dredge

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