Like It Or Not, TikTok Has Become A Crime Solving App

Like It Or Not, TikTok Has Become A Crime Solving App
SHARE
THIS



The social media app TikTok took an interesting turn this week when TikTokers stopped dancing and turned their attention to solving a missing person case.

TikTok is known for its videos of people dancing, funny trends, and cute animal content. In a twist that perhaps no one saw coming, the app that made the very palatable Addison Rae a star, is now being used to solve crimes.

In the last year, TikTok has arguably become the most influential social media app. TikTok experienced a surge during the pandemic, Statista reported that it experienced a growth of 180 per cent among 15-25-year-old users.

Suddenly, even celebrities were signing up, Taylor Swift and Ryan Reynolds are now TikTokers. The platform has become a way for people to share their lives in these isolated times.

However, the app waded its way into controversy this week, because TikTokers have been posting content trying to solve the missing person case of Gabby Petito.

Petito, a young and beautiful influencer went missing last week in the United States on a road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. Laundrie, mysteriously returned home without Petito and has allegedly been uncooperative with the police.

Before her disappearance, Petito had been updating her social media profiles to share stories and news of her trip with her fiance. They seemed young, in love, and enviable, and then she disappeared.

It’s hard not to see the appeal, a beautiful white woman goes missing, who is an avid social media user. Petito has shared so much of her life online, people still feel like they can get to know her. It sounds like a storyline ripped from a Netflix television show, except it isn’t.

The true story has practically taken over TikTok, the app has amassed over 576 million tags of the hashtag #GabbyPetito and has been flooded with videos of TikTokers trying to help the police solve the case, popular hashtags include; #findgabby, #findinggabbypetito and #gabbypetitoupdate.

The TikToks range from users looking for clues, discussing theories. or trying to raise awareness online. Some TikTokers have delved back into Petito’s social media accounts and are analysing every video.

It has also sparked developments. Miranda Baker took to the platform to share that she had given Laundrie a lift, and only recognised him because of TikTok. She also explained she had contacted the authorities with the relevant information.

Baker’s TikTok has received over 15 million views.

@mirandabaker_

#gabbypetito #findgabby #brianlaundrie

♬ original sound – Miranda Baker

Petito’s story has created a sense of comraderie on the platform – ordinary people trying to solve a mystery. Comments under the videos are flooded with praise, advice, tips and theories, users are banding together to share knowledge with each other.

@robandhaley

The explanation that gabby and/or her phone is in Puerto Rico #findgabbypetito #whereisgabbypetito #gabbypetito

♬ original sound – Haley Toumaian

Still, there has been debate over whether this is helping or hurting the constantly evolving case. Particularly because some videos about the case have been monetised, meaning the creators are making money off Petito’s disappearance.

But the coverage, however tone-deaf, does seem to be helping solve the case. YouTubers from the channel Red, White & Bethune recognised the images of Petito’s distinctive white van from their own footage at Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, and went to the police.

Police have now found a body matching Petito’s description there, and according to The Guardian, the body is Petitos and has been ruled a homicide. These updates give TikTokers new material to work with, to endlessly discuss and dissect.

Public information officer Josh Taylor told BuzzFeed News, “Social media has helped us solve a lot of crimes.

“You have to take the good with the bad. You might get a thousand completely insane pieces of information, but that one piece that might be the missing piece to the puzzle, it’s important.”

Still, no matter what you think, you can’t put the wine back in the bottle. Considering how popular the true-crime videos have been on TikTok it would be naive to dismiss that solving crimes via TikTok is in our future.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Gabby Petito TikTok

Latest News

Tis’ The Season To Turn Shoppers Into Buyers
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Tis’ The Season To Turn Shoppers Into Buyers

Hayley Fisher [pictured] is the AUNZ Country Manager at Adyen. In this op-ed, she discusses the upcoming holidays sales season and explains marketers can help drive sales. Over the 18-months the pace of ecommerce has accelerated to new heights. According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record $44.2 billion was […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vodafone Australia To Pitch Creative
  • Advertising

Vodafone Australia To Pitch Creative

TPG Telecom has announced it will hold a creative pitch to further develop the Vodafone brand here in Australia. Last year’s merger between Vodafone and TPG brought together a family of brands under the TPG Telecom group, with the creative shift to position Vodafone for the future. While Vodafone’s long-standing relationship with WPP will continue, […]

IBM CMO Jodie Sangster Departs
  • Media
  • Technology

IBM CMO Jodie Sangster Departs

IBM CMO Jodie Sangster announces departure. Has promised not to do a podcast, take up painting or open a yoga retreat.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Westfield Launches Home Delivery Service
  • Marketing

Westfield Launches Home Delivery Service

Following 18 months of intermittent lockdowns across Australia, shopping centre giant Westfield is launching a new service that will tap into the ecommerce boom. The new service, named Westfield Direct, will take on the likes of Australia Post by providing shipping directly to customers. Shoppers will also be able to select items from an online […]

SBS Named By AFR As One Of Australia’s Most Innovative Companies For Digital Language Services
  • Media

SBS Named By AFR As One Of Australia’s Most Innovative Companies For Digital Language Services

SBS has been recognised as one of Australia and New Zealand’s Most Innovative Companies, in the prestigious annual list published by the Australian Financial Review and Boss Magazine, from over 700 nominated organisations.  Ranked third on the Media and Marketing list, SBS was the only media company to make the list, recognised for its growing and evolving multilingual digital services, exemplifying SBS’s innovative culture and strategy.  SBS provides multiplatform services in more than […]

İstanbul, Turkey - February 10, 2019: Woman using smart phone on a couch. The smart phone is an iPhone 8 displaying Twitter application.  iPhone is a touchscreen smartphone developed by Apple Inc.
  • Technology

Twitter Plays With In-Conversation Ads

Twitter has confirmed it is experimenting with a new ad format which will see ads placed within conversation threads for the first time. The company’s Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck made the announcement on Thursday. “Starting today, we’re trying something different and testing a new ad format in Tweet conversations,” he posted on Twitter. “If […]

ABC Relaunches Aussie Music Show The Sound For Season Three
  • Media

ABC Relaunches Aussie Music Show The Sound For Season Three

In exciting news today, Mushroom Group is thrilled to announce much lauded Aussie music program The Sound will return to the ABC this November! Celebrating some of our best musical talents since its launch in 2020, The Sound Season 3 will debut on Sunday 7 November at 5.30pm (local time). Viewers can watch The Sound on ABC TV each Sunday afternoon or catch up with the latest episodes via ABC iview. Across Season […]

AKQA Crowned Most Innovative Media And Marketing Company By AFR
  • Marketing
  • Media

AKQA Crowned Most Innovative Media And Marketing Company By AFR

Strategic design and innovation company AKQA has received the top industry ranking in the 2021 AFR Boss Most Innovative Companies List.  This is the third consecutive year the company has been acknowledged by the AFR for its commitment to innovation in the media and marketing category.   The Most Innovative Companies Awards were presented via a […]

Hedley Thomas Launches Investigative Podcast Shandee’s Story Via The Australian
  • Media

Hedley Thomas Launches Investigative Podcast Shandee’s Story Via The Australian

National news brand, The Australian, has launched a new podcast from Hedley Thomas, Shandee’s Story. Shandee’s Story is the culmination of six months’ work by Thomas, the award-winning investigative journalist behind The Teacher’s Pet and The Night Driver podcasts. The podcast investigates a harrowing cold case. Shandee Blackburn was left to die after a frenzied knife attack as she walked […]

Greater Bank Claims Silver At Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards
  • Technology

Greater Bank Claims Silver At Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards

Greater Bank has won a Silver Award at the 2021 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards with its Intranet Built on the Elcom Digital Employee Experience Platform. The global awards recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces, honouring remarkable solutions that deliver business value to their organisations and then share […]

White ladders leaning on to content written bull's eye target on blue wall. Horizontal composition with copy space. Content concept.
  • Marketing
  • Media

New Research Identifies ‘Commerce Content’ As Key Revenue Driver For Brands And Publishers

Two new research reports have revealed key drivers for ‘commerce content’ and the massive revenue opportunity it presents for digital publishers and brands. Published by independent media organisations, commerce content allows readers to understand the goods and services promoted by an editorial team. It’s now a major part of the partnership ecosystem, and a way […]