Any kind of content surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault runs the risk of triggering victims, which Brown said can include “exacerbating anxiety, depression, PTSD symptoms, shame, and guilt.”
When asked about the audios, a spokesperson for TikTok said that they are removing videos surrounding the trial that violate their policies, which in their community guidelines prohibits “expressions of abuse, including threats or degrading statements intended to mock, humiliate, embarrass, intimidate, or hurt an individual.” That supposedly includes “content that disparages victims of violent tragedies,” although thousands of videos using the Heard audio remain. TikTok would not say how many videos related to the trial they had removed.
One such video that appears to have been removed was the cat video created by the account @heyitsgingerandpepper (although the video is still live on Instagram) and which has been written about it in various media reports. The creator behind the account declined to be interviewed for this story, but said in a direct message, “We move on to the next one. I’m not too concerned about anything. I’m just here to create content and make people laugh and smile.”
As the Heard and Depp trial is set to resume next week, the full implications of these kinds of parodies will continue to unfold.
“Survivors are watching. They’re looking at their friends — My family members shared this? They’re casting doubt on Amber? They’re figuring out ways that Oh, you may side with the abuser,” said Brown. “Abusers are looking at these videos as well, and they are finding creative ways to use it as a tool to further victimize.”