Lip-syncing app Musical.ly under fire for letting teens post self-harm and sexually suggestive videos

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An app popular with teenagers that lets users post lip-syncing videos is under fire for allowing posts featuring self-harm, anorexia and sexually suggestive content.

Musical.ly, a Chinese video-sharing app that has proved a hit with teenagers, has been accused of allowing sexual content and disturbing videos to spread on the service. Musical.ly is rated 13 and over, meaning teenagers can access it, but some users appear to be younger.

Thousands of posts tagged with hashtags like #cutting or #mutilation have been found on the app, while other code words like #sxy featured teenagers performing provocative dance moves or songs.

Musical.ly is a Chinese social video sharing app that is focused on sending music videos, normally featuring users lip syncing to songs. Users post 15 second to one minute videos which are then shared or commented on.

While most videos feature users delivering songs and or dancing, by searching for tags using a hashtag, users can find videos which appear sexual suggestive, or videos featuring images of self-harm. 

Problems with the app, which has more than 60 million active users, emerged last week in a blog post after a concerned parent explored the app that their child had asked them to download.

Anastasia Basil, a concerned parent, found graphic videos featuring children, self-harm images and content encouraging anorexia, tagged as “#proana”. 

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