TikTok has had its fair share of insensitive trends, but recent ones involving high potential for bodily harm have come under scrutiny. And now a suicide prank on the platform may have resulted in a teen's death.
'The Jakarta Post' reports a 19-year-old from Pakistan died while staging a suicide prank attempt for a TikTok Video.
A young man by the name of Hamidullah from Swat, Pakistan, purportedly set up a video premise where he would shoot himself in the head on camera for TikTok, effectively faking his own death. In what was probably an attempt to make the video look as genuine as possible, Hamidullah used a Tokarev TT pistol in the clip.
The pre-WW2 Soviet Era handguns, despite being out of production for decades, are commonly found in Pakistan and India, as the USSR supplied tons of weapons to the region between 1961 and 1965. It should be noted that possession of firearms in the country without a dealer's license is expressly prohibited and it's unknown if Hamidullah had one prior to his death.
As per Newsweek, the young man didn't know that the TT was loaded, so when he put the gun to his head to prank his followers about the suicide, he actually ended up shooting himself. He died almost immediately.
A local news station in Pakistan has reportedly obtained the footage and broadcast it in the country, which has since been uploaded to YouTube.
Police told the Express Tribune in a statement: "This boy was pretending to commit suicide with a loaded pistol. He put the gun on his head and then it suddenly misfired. The unfortunate youngster died on the spot as he was directly hit in the head. There was no chance of survival."
Hamidullah and his friends also reportedly captured the entire thing on video and uploaded it online, where the clip was widely disseminated.
While none of his friends or family members have publicly commented about his accidental suicide, the clip was taken off of the app.
Hamidullah had about 8,000 followers on TikTok prior to the suicide prank.
Police indicated that he was well-known locally and had uploaded over 600 videos to the platform. Most of them involved him engaging in cricket games, showing what his daily life in Swat was like, and various pranks.
Unbelievably enough, this wasn't the first time someone died from TikTok-related injuries in Pakistan.
A security guard in Karachi was filming himself while playing with his firearm for the social media platform and, like Hamidullah, died after accidentally discharging his weapon.
Another teenager was filming a clip near a moving train in Rawalpindi and was struck by said train, dying from their injuries.
Please TikTok responsibly, folks.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.