A gruesome video of a man’s apparent suicide began circulating on TikTok on Sunday, September 6. It has since reached other social media platforms, and parents are urged to make sure their children do not watch it.
The man in the video has been identified as Ronnie McNutt, an Army veteran who allegedly live streamed his suicide on Facebook on August 31.
A representative from TikTok confirmed to Forbes that clips of the harrowing suicide have now migrated to TikTok. It has also appeared on Twitter. The original video was removed from Facebook on the same day it was posted, and is working to remove subsequent reuploads.
The graphic footage has gone viral, with many shocked that social media platforms haven’t stopped its circulation.
“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide,” reads a statement from TikTok.
“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.”
Users are advised to not log on to TikTok for a few days to avoid watching the video. Anyone on TikTok should immediately scroll as fast as they can if they see a video of a man with long hair and a beard on the phone.
The edited versions start with something benign or a rip of an influencer’s video to make ppl stop scrolling, then cut to the horrible video before they have a chance to look away. https://t.co/e24epk34jf
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) September 7, 2020
Parents are also urged to speak to their children if they have seen the video, and get them professional help if need be.
Contact these resources if you or anyone you know are under distress:
– Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline: 0800 456 789
– Lifeline South Africa: 0861 322 322
– SADAG Suicide Prevention Line: 0800 567 567
– South Africa Suicide Crisis Helpline: Tel: 0800 21 22 23 / Tel: 0800 12 13 14