TikTok is going to punish amateur sleuths who disrupted Nicola Bulley search

TikTok is going to punish amateur sleuths who disrupted Nicola Bulley search
Body of missing woman Nicola Bulley found after three-week police search in …

TikTok has vowed to "take action" against people spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories amid the Nicola Bulley investigation.

The body of the mother-of-two was pulled from the River Wyre in Lancashire on Sunday (19 January) after she was last seen on January 27.

During the search, some TikTokers shared baseless claims about Nicola, some of which were viewed thousands of times. Amateur sleuths and social media influencers even took it upon themselves to investigate the case, by descending to St Michael’s on Wyre to look for her.

The former Met Police superintendent, Dal Babu, recalled one false conspiracy that the search for Nicola was fake and "actors" were carrying out the search.

He accused social media companies of creating a "wild west" of misinformation and said they needed to be held accountable.

Responding to the criticism, TikTok said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with Ms Bulley’s family and friends at this difficult time. We have mobilised resources to monitor the evolving conversation about this case.

"We are taking action against violations of our Community Guidelines, including removing content and accounts, and limiting the reach of some content by making it ineligible for recommendation."

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It comes after media watchdog Ofcom said they were "extremely concerned" by comments from Nicola's family, who questioned the role of the media during the investigation.

They said: "We tried last night to take in what we had been told in the day, only to have Sky News and ITV making contact with us directly when we expressly asked for privacy.

"They again have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profits. It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now.

'"Do the press and other media channels and so-called professionals not know when to stop? These are our lives and our children’s lives."

Ofcom has written to ITV and Sky "to ask them to explain their actions"

A spokesperson for Ofcom said on Tuesday (21 February): "We are extremely concerned to hear the comments made by the family of Nicola Bulley about two broadcast licensees.

"We have written to ITV and Sky to ask them to explain their actions. We will then assess whether any further action is required."

Nicola's family said in their statement: "It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family.

"This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable, this cannot happen to another family."

It is understood Sky News had an open two-way dialogue with Nicola's family and the police since she was reported missing.

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