TikTok craze sees teachers mistakenly called ‘pedophiles’ – staff quit jobs | UK | News

A craze for the video-based social media app has led students to make “derogatory comments” about their teachers. It’s called “teacher-bashing” and sees educators falsely labeled as adulterers and pedophiles.

Unions have warned that the harmful video content caused school staff to quit their jobs, while the videos have been reported to police.

The trends see students sharing video content from their teachers using hashtags, which allow users to search for different topics on TikTok.

The app uses a recommendation algorithm, so if a user looks at the hashtag #pedo, the algorithm would recommend the hashtag #pedoschool.

Schools noted that TikTok did not respond to requests to remove the allegations in a timely manner.

Due to the company’s slow response, parents took their children’s phones to school so staff could conduct their own investigation, the Telegraph said.

Teachers’ union The teachers’ union NASUWT warned that the trend is driving teachers to quit their jobs.

dr. Patrick Roach, secretary general of NASUWT, said: “If there is any evidence that companies like TikTok are actively promoting or inciting abuse of teachers, it is completely unacceptable and the government should take immediate action.

“There is simply no excuse for abusing teachers whose lives are being ruined as a result of posting malicious content on these social media platforms.”

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A slew of derogatory videos have been posted on the app, including of Wales’s Cwmtawe Community School calling police officers after the creation of a defamatory meme falsely suggesting a teacher was an offender.

Gemma Morgan, the assistant principal of the school, located in the Swansea Valley, said the footage was shot despite the school’s cell phone ban and published on TikTok.

Referring to a request to remove the images from the app, Ms Morgan noted that one of TikTok’s reports said they did not consider the images bullying.

She said the school was instead forced to launch its own investigation into the perpetrator and ask them to remove the footage.

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Students from Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire had also posted TikTok videos making similar false accusations.

The school’s headteacher, Christopher Smith, sent a letter — written in conjunction with Laura Mason, the council’s head of education — to parents, guardians and carers, commenting on the “disturbing” nature of the posts.

The letter asked the recipients of the letter to check their children’s phones and check their social media accounts and their content.

Police Scotland had also been made aware of “disturbing” content produced by students about the school’s staff.

Commenting on the matter, a TikTok spokesperson said: “We are crystal clear that hateful conduct, harassment and intimidation have no place on TikTok.”

The tech company then said it “regretted” the “offensive content” posted on the platform.

TikTok also said it was “proactively” looking into such malicious allegations and that hundreds of pieces of content had already been removed.

The company also uses new technology to better detect abusive material and bans users where necessary.

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