TIKTOK has issued a statement after Nicola Bulley's family hit out at social media's involvement in the case.
The platform spoke out after cops confirmed yesterday that the body they had recovered from the River Wyre, Lancashire, was that of the missing-mum-of-two.
They offered their condolences to the family and promised they were "taking action" against online trolls.
The involvement of amateur sleuths in the search for Nicola during the more than three weeks that she was missing had drawn much criticism from her loved ones and the authorities alike.
One TikTok user sparked outrage by digging up woodland near where the 45-year-old vanished, while another was arrested for a public order offence after an altercation with a local resident.
In a statement in the wake of the tragic announcement, Nicola's family said: "It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to [Nicola's daughters] one day that… members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family."
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This referred to social media conspiracy theories around the involvement of Nicola's partner Paul Ansell in her death.
Likewise, Michael Vincent, who heads the local council, said: "It's almost as though social media idiocy and reality have become blurred.
"We've had these weirdos, these ghouls, trying people's door handles, peering through their windows."
A spokesperson for TikTok said: "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.
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"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."
It comes after Nicola's family reacted to the tragic news of her death in a statement released via cops.
They said: "We will never forget Nikki. How could we? She was the centre of our world. She was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that.
"Our girls will get the support they need from the people that love us the most.
It comes after:
- Police confirmed that Nicola’s body had been found in the River Wyre
- Nicola’s family said that they’ll never be able to “comprehend what Nikki went through” or “forget” the tragedy
- A ‘psychic’ claimed that he found the body during the search
- The Home Secretary was reported to be “not satisfied” over cop’s explanation of why they released information on Nicola’s “vulnerabilities”
- Dive expert Peter Faulding said “I did my best” in the search for the mum-of-two
- An ex-cop said that the body may have been “weighed down” before it was found
"To those that genuinely helped and supported us, privately, we thank you.
"The community support in St Michael’s, friends, neighbours and strangers, has been nothing short of comforting and heartwarming.
"Friends you know who you are, thank you."
In their statement, Nicola’s family criticised press coverage of the search for the mum-of-two and hit out at harmful social media speculation.
They specifically mentioned two broadcasters who tried to contact them today, after they had 'expressly asked for privacy'.
The case has attracted widespread interest since tragic Nicola's disappearance and amateur sleuths have flooded social media with wild theories during the three week hunt for the mum.
They finished with a touching tribute to their beloved relative, adding: "Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.
"We love you, always have and always will. We will take it from here."
For their part, Lancashire Police said that the the death was "not the outcome any of us would have wanted."
Assistant Chief Constable Peter Lawson said: "Sadly we are now able to confirm that yesterday we recovered Nicola Bulley from the River Wyre.
"Nicola’s family have been informed and are of course devastated. Our thoughts are with them at this time, as well as with all her loved ones and the wider community.
"We recognise the huge impact that Nicola’s disappearance has had on her family and her friends, but also on the people of St Michael’s.
"We would like to thank all of those who have helped during what has been a hugely complex and high emotional investigation.
"Today’s development is not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but we hope that at least it can to begin to provide some answers for Nicola’s loved ones. They remain foremost in our thoughts."
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He added that the case was now being handled by His Majesty's Coroner.
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