The parents of a teenager who committed suicide two years ago accuse TikTok of being partly responsible and file a complaint against the platform. This is the first time in France that such an approach has been undertaken.
In the summer of 2021, Marie, a 15-year-old teenager living in Cassis in Bouches-du-Rhône, published a video on the social network TikTok. She talks about being fed up with being constantly made fun of for her weight and how bad she feels. Like too many young people unfortunately, Marie is the victim of school bullying. A few weeks later, on September 16, 2021, the teenager’s parents found her dead in her room. She hanged herself.
Two years later, on September 8, the young girl’s father and mother filed a complaint against TikTok. They accuse the social network of “provocation to suicide”, “failure to assist a person in danger” and “propaganda or advertising of means of killing oneself”. They note that just after publishing her video in 2021, Marie saw it arrive on her profile several videos on the same themewhich would have led to him feeling even worse.
Parents accuse TikTok of being responsible for their daughter’s suicide and file a complaint
Laure Boutron-Marmion, lawyer for Marie’s parents, explains that “TikTok obviously has its share of responsibility in taking action. The platforms, social networks, play a role in dealing with a teenager who is already extremely psychologically fragile due to the harassment he suffers.” She denounces in particular “an extremely powerful algorithm” which visibly lacks discernment. At the time of publishing this article, TikTok has not commented on the complaint against it.
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A family experienced a similar tragedy in the United Kingdom. After the suicide of Molly, 14, in 2017, a court decision last year questioned the social media algorithms. They were found to be partly responsible for the victim’s actions. The latter had, for example, received an email from Pinterest recommending that she read “Ten Posts About Depression You Might Like.” Remember that for its part, TikTok has set up a toll-free number to combat suicide.
Source: France Info