TikTok has apologised after a video showing someone explicitly being beheaded went viral on the platform, leading to calls for it to improve its content moderation practices.
The video, which has now been removed and its uploader @mayenggo3 banned, started with an innocent looking clip of a girl dancing, but then cut to a man being graphicly decapitated in a bathroom.
"We apologise to those in our community, including our moderators, who may have come upon this content," a TikTok spokesperson told Newsweek.
"The original video was quickly removed, and our systems are proactively detecting and blocking attempted re-uploads of the clip to catch malicious behaviour before the content can receive views."
It was likely the video was created with a technique specifically designed to get it past TikTok's AI moderation, a TikTok moderator told Newsweek.
The AI searches videos for inappropriate content like nudity and gore, but was likely fooled by the beheading being spliced into the other video.
A human moderator only looks at content on the platform once it reaches 500 views.
"Not much can be done to prevent these with current systems. We try and stop the wrong ones, but there will be one-offs. Humans make errors, but AI systems get tricked too," the company said.
The video has been added to TikTok's "hashbank" system, which is used to automatically detect this video and others which breach moderation prior to being posted.
It's not the first time that graphic deaths have been posted to social media. Infamously, Facebook was condemned after the Christchurch terror attack was livestreamed on the platform in 2019, graphically showing 51 people being murdered.
That led to the Christchurch Call, a commitment from governments and technology companies to ensure extremist and terrorist content isn't posted online.
In April the BBC reported that TikTok was banning users who were using violent videos and pornographic images as profile pictures to avoid content moderation.
An Islamic State video showing the murder of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh was viewed by the news outlet as well as hardcore pornography.