If you haven’t heard of TikTok you must be living under a rock. The Chinese-based app became the latest trendy social media platform, with more than 500 million active users worldwide. According to Sensor Tower, TikTok is at the moment, the most downloaded non-gaming app on all mobile operating systems.
TikTok users upload short 15 second videos of themselves (or their pets), mostly as part of challenges. The challenges usually start by one user and after going viral, get many take-offs by other users.
While the majority of these challenges are mostly harmless, lately the social media platform received criticism for allowing ones that encouraged animal cruelty, like #clappingchallenge and PutItInABun.
The #PutItInABun challenge required users to tie both their pet’s ears together with a scrunchie or a rubber band. The users then uploaded the video and shared it on the app. While this might not sound particularly vicious, the animals in the videos were clearly uneasy and critics claimed it opened the door and legitimized the more extreme videos that came after it.
Following their investigation of the disturbing phenomenon, Sun Online wrote: ” It is known as the #clappingchallenge or just #clapping. Pet owners record themselves slapping a dog or cat on the back or across the face to the tune “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, with added expletives. The disturbing videos were liked by millions. The dogs and cats are clearly distressed and attempt to bite or bat at their owners to make them stop.”
Concerened people like Noelle Burton warned the ASPCA about the trend by uploading the videos and tagging the organization’s account. Please note that the video shows disturbing scenes of animal cruelty:
@ASPCA @rickygervais so TikTok has this horrible challenge where losers smack their animals in the face-I reported this guy and nothing has been done. Can you help? This is abuse and nobody cares!🤬 pic.twitter.com/GSSx6nA4KQ— Noelle Burton (@noellesdesigns) February 3, 2020
PETA director Elisa Allen responded to the trend in an interview with the Sun Online: “They normalize treating animals disrespectfully, even physically abusing them, and there’s a risk of ‘copycat’ behavior by people who are desperate for publicity and attention – even the negative kind.”
A TikTok spokesperson replied to people’s criticisms and said: “We have investigated every individual case that has been raised and removed all content that violates our Community Guidelines. We use both technologies and human moderation teams to identify, review and remove dangerous or abusive content.”
We think those pet owners who are willing to betray their helpless animal’s trust and abuse them for a few likes and clicks never deserved their love in the first place!
If you agree with us, share this story to raise awareness of these disturbing acts of cruelty.
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