An extremely graphic video that recently went viral on the social media app TikTok features footage of a young man being beheaded in a bloody bathroom.
Shared by user @mayenggo3 – who has since been banned – the video starts with a girl dancing in front of a camera in a black tank top and white shorts.
Seconds later it comes to the gory scene where several men, who speak Spanish, saw off the head of a living man.
The clip has sparked outrage and demands for TikTok – the social media site most popular with young teens and children – to tighten security.
Graphics of a beheading have gone viral on TikTok impersonating the dance video pictured above.
A TikTok spokesperson apologized for the security breach in a statement to Newsweek about the incident.
“We appreciate our community’s concerted effort to warn of an unscrupulous graphic clip from another site that was split into a video and posted to TikTok,” the spokesperson said.
“The original video was quickly removed and our systems proactively detect and block attempts to re-upload the clip to catch malicious behavior before the content can be viewed. We apologize to those in our community, including our moderators, who may have stumbled upon this content.”
According to a Newsweek article, the video has since been added to TikTok’s “Hashbank” system, which now automatically detects it before posting.
A TikTok content moderator spoke to Newsweek about the incident, saying whoever posted the video most likely violated the app’s AI security system by editing the original dance video with the graphic scene.
The app’s AI server automatically scans videos for graphic content. But users can trick the AI into reformatting their videos several times and adding the graphical content later.
“It is not until a video has been viewed 500 times that it is sent to be moderated by a human,” according to the Newsweek story, explaining that the graphic scene is from a video that has been shared on various internet spaces since 2019 and to allegedly a 19-year-old boy in Mexico.
The account that shared the beheading video has been deleted and a TikTok spokesperson apologized for the security breach.
According to TikTok’s Community Guidelines, the app does not allow “content that is unnecessarily shocking, graphic, sadistic, or horrifying, or that promotes, normalizes, or glorifies extreme violence or suffering on our platform.”
“If there is a threat to public safety, we will suspend or ban the account and, if necessary, report it to the relevant legal authorities,” the Community Guidelines read. It is unclear whether TikTok contacted the police to investigate the video and determine its origin.
The account that shared the video has since been deleted and the identities of the girl, victim and other men in the video have not been verified.
Heavy sought answers by having the video translated by fluent Spanish speaker Juan D. Sanchez. While some speculated that the victim was the same girl in the video’s introduction, Sanchez said the victim must be a man because the attackers call him “puto,” or a masculine form of the Spanish slur meaning “a**hole.” . .
Another social media theory was that the video was a depiction of a cartel murder, but the men in the video are not referring to a cartel. Instead, according to Heavy, they say, “This is what’s going to happen to all the sons of b*****s, s**t. Just like this whore, Pillo.’
Pillo is a masculine nickname for Guadalupe, Lupe or Lupillo. Sanchez added that their accent and intonations indicate that they may be from the Guanajuato or Jalisco area.
In the days following the video’s sharing on TikTok, many shared their shock and horror when they accidentally watched it. Twitter user lexi28 wrote: ‘Why is the video of the girl getting her head chopped off again? please be careful on tiktok.’
Another user named k wrote: ‘If you’re on tiktok, be careful!! someone uploaded a video of a beheading, the original has been deleted, but other accounts are uploading it again. it starts with a video of a girl dancing on d!ck by starboi3 and doja cat and then it goes to the graphic video.’
And a user named Faye shared that she had been duped by the video and warned others not to watch it. Found out the hard way that there’s a video going around tiktok showing a real human beheading. If you see a young woman with long dark hair, black tank top and white shorts dancing to Doja Cat, wipe away IMMEDIATELY. If you see videos of someone talking about it, pause for a moment.”
This isn’t the first time death graphics videos have gone viral on the app. In October 2019, the Daily Mail reported that a number of ISIS-linked accounts had been removed after posting clips depicting beheadings and torture. And in September 2020, TikTok made headlines after a man’s suicide video went viral on the app. The video used the same technique to surpass TikTok’s security by splicing the video with unrelated content.