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via Instagram @the.great.londini

Great Londini: who is TikTok’s masked, troll-hunting vigilante?

The anonymous group claims to be “taking social media back from the bullies, paedophiles, scammers, and trolls”

A TikTok vigilante is using their masked identity to expose online abusers to their parents and employers. 

Calling themselves the Great Londini, the TikTok group – which hides their own identity with a Joker-style mask and distorted voice – strives to “(take) social media back from the bullies, paedophiles, scammers, and trolls”. 

“I started this account to protect those who could not protect themselves,” Leo, the group’s main online spokesperson, said in a TikTok. “Let’s make a difference on social media.” 

Usually, the group does so by highlighting a troll’s negative comment underneath a video, then revealing that they’ve notified the troll’s place of work or – if the comment is extremely harmful – the police.

In one TikTok, the Great Londini responds to a comment telling a cop to “eat (his) gun”, by revealing that the commenter is a lawyer and explaining they will take action. Continuing, they stated the accounts slogan, “Stupid game, stupid prize,” which promotes accountability for trolls.

According to the BBC, the group started when Leo’s friend’s autistic 14 year-old son died by suicide after experiencing online harassment. 

“After a while, (my friend) reached out to us and said part of the reason why he was so depressed is because he was being harassed a lot on social media,” said Leo, who proceeded to track down the online abusers with his friends. “We were able to give him the information and say, you know, hey... do what you need to do with it. And he reached out to their parents and got, for the most part, he got some closure.”

So far, TikTok has deleted nine of the group’s accounts, and the tenth account has experienced multiple suspensions based on accusations of online harassment, bullying, and violent extremism. However, Londini disagrees with these accusations – stating that TikTok is not properly moderating abusive accounts.

“They’re not doing it,” Leo told the BBC. “We do tell TikTok everything. We send TikTok every piece of information, we report the account.”

According to TikTok, the app is making a great effort to protect its users against abusive accounts. “We know there is no finish line when it comes to protecting our users, which is why we will continue to invest in our teams, products and features to ensure that TikTok is a safe place for our community,” a spokesperson said.

In a report, TikTok revealed that it has taken down 62 million videos between January and March of 2021 for violating its community guidelines. Besides, the app has launched a prompt which asks users to consider the impact of their words before posting a potentially hateful comment, created a comment filter for TikTok creators, and announced a partnership with the Cyberbullying Research Center

The Great Londini, however, plans to continue their work against online abuse. “Until every bully racist and scammer is off this app, we’re going nowhere,” they said in a TikTok.

Check out some of the Great Londini’s TikToks below.