Taio Cruz says he left TikTok because he was “ambushed” by hate on the app.
The singer quit the social media service just a few days after he joined in September, writing in a now-deleted Instagram post that his “body was shaking and I had suicidal thoughts”.
Speaking to the BBC about the experience, Cruz said: “I think there’s a mob mentality that happens in comment sections. A lot of the time people will see something, then look at the comments to give them the answer of how they should feel about it, or how they should behave.
“And I think that’s really what happened with with my stuff. I was making fun videos, then someone decided to be toxic – and a bunch of other people decided, ‘Oh, I’m gonna join in on that.'”
“Tik Tok really emphasises making users’ content go viral through their ‘For You’ page,” the singer said, “and it has this sort of feedback loop or a feedback spiral.”
He explained: “So if you create a piece of content, then someone else creates content from your content, it loops over and over and over again.”
“If someone says something good, it’s a positive loop, but if somebody uses it badly, the exact same thing happens in the negative way.”
Reflecting on his now-deleted post detailing his suicidal thoughts after the hate he received on the app, Cruz said: “The reason I had those thoughts and that level of depression and that level of anxiety [was] the injustice of it.
“Everyone’s screaming at you going, ‘He’s a witch,’ and you’re like, ‘I didn’t do the black magic,’ and they’re like, ‘Well, he’s a witch anyway’. So it was horrible. I’m not a fan.”
A TikTok spokesperson has responded to Cruz’s claims, writing: “We’re huge fans of Taio and we were extremely disappointed that he experienced negativity from a limited number of users.”
They also said they’d been speaking to Cruz about how he believes the app can make positive future changes in these areas.