Trending App Tik Tok-5 Must Knows for Parents.

Tik Tok also known as Douyin is a trending app designed for iOS and Android. Originally known as before changing its name to Tik Tok. It was purchased by a Chinese tech giant Bytedance for $1 billion in December 2018.

According to The Guardian, Tik Tok has over 500 million global users. The App allows users to record themselves lip-syncing to music across a 3-15 second period, uploading and sharing it online. Users can scroll through videos from other Tik Tok users by simply scrolling up or down.

Videos are curated using artificial intelligence (AI) with an algorithm by tailoring each users feed.

Likewise, the trending app Tik Tok also incorporates other features found on social networks such as comments, filters, likes and hashtags. Celebrities across the globe have promoted this app and took part, with some even encouraging users to take part in trending challenges. Business Insider reports during 2018, Tik Tok was downloaded more times than Instagram and over 40% of its demographic of users was from India.

Instagram on mobile
Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash

There is a duet feature which lets you record a video to another person. Creating a split screen, where users can watch two videos at once forming a duet.

Terms of Use

The terms of use for Tik Tok’s users is that they have to be 13 years old to sign up and if under the age of 18, to obtain their parent’s consent. During 2015, Pew Research Center in Washington D.C noted 73% of American teenagers had access to a smartphone. This can be a cause for concern, as TikTok is easily downloadable making it impossible to monitor a teenagers behaviour on smartphones. Likewise, those under the Tik Tok sign up age of 13, could lie about their birthdate to gain access.

This potentially could be dangerous, as teenagers could be exposed to a range of unknown people across the globe. Therefore having access to revealing content.

If you have discovered your child using, it would be recommended to read further about the Apps disadvantages before coming to a decision.

1) Paedophiles

Tik Tok has implemented steps to report inappropriate accounts, videos, comments and chats. Although, it can be questionable that the apps 500 million users are regulated thoroughly.  In addition to this, as soon as someone is registered their account by default is set to public. Making it available for anyone on Tik Tok to view the videos they upload. Unless users go into their privacy settings and change their account to private.

Also if a profile is public it allows strangers to engage with users by following them, commenting on videos and private messaging (only available if the user follows them back). In a way, giving a realm for paedophiles to contact and attempt to groom children.

The South China Morning Post had reported around 100 9-year-olds in Hong Kong from a primary school were found to be using Tik Tok. Some of which, had naively exposed identifiable information about themselves such as names, school uniforms, and even contact numbers.

The Daily Mirror’s reporting team discovered a 15-year-old girls video with men commenting asking her to perform sex acts. Similarly, another video of a teenage girl dancing with a comment indicating her to take off her clothes.

Those are just a few examples out of many found on the trending app Tik Tok. Due to the lack of regulation of the App, it exposes children to the underworld users of the internet. As AI is used to select videos based on users likes and comments it allows predators to easily view videos without searching. Just for their own personal satisfaction.

Ask yourself

Would you feel comfortable allowing your child to be broadcasted to strangers and available to be easily contacted by them?

2) Lack of Productivity due to Trending App Tik Tok

Large brands have used Tik Tok to promote their products or campaigns. An example being Guess which launched a hashtag challenge, #inmydenim. This caused users to undergo denim transformations as part of a viral challenge.

Those with a high following, have called themselves influencers, influencing others to copy their videos. As well as those, with a real high following have caused corporations to reach out to them allowing them to secure film roles and promote their products.

Without a doubt, this can be a bad influence on a child’s mentality. If, children are seeing other internet stars of their own age being rewarded given incentives it could be debated they may want to try and achieve the same. Ultimately, removing their focus from achieving a career from education. With their focus shifting trying to achieve a full-time profession from Tik Tok.

School Kids in Classroom
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

It could also be concerning as countries with high unemployment rates could also make young individuals choose to use Tik Tok with hopes to gain a career from it. Taking away their motivation for learning.

Do you want your children to spend more time on this App than their education?

3) Bullying

Anyone can comment (unless they are blocked) this can cause a huge amount of trolls. Nasty comments can occur on a video. As well as users insulting or trying to hurt themselves using the Apps duet feature.

Natalie, a 20-year-old reported by Buzzfeed stated she recorded a video and was getting duet features on her video of someone pretending to hang themselves. Another user Asher had mentioned someone tried to duet and pretend to suffocate themselves. There were also trends and videos promoting eating disorders.

4) It Was Temporarily Banned in India

Indian Flag, Representing Tik Tok
Photo by Naveed Ahmed on Unsplash

A 19-year-old Mohammad Salam was seen posing with a pistol with a friend Suhail Malik in Delhi for a TikTok video. He was shot dead, according to first post. Google blocked the App and it’s was being reviewed by the Madras High Court directives. However, the other reasons for the ban were not disclosed.

For a country to ban an APP and it to go to court, it must be serious?

5) Pornographic Content

Often, across Tik Tok, it has been shown females of all ages to lip sync whilst wearing provocative outfits to gain more followers, comments, and hearts on their videos. Whilst it’s ok for the older generation, impressionable young teenagers under the age of 18 have often been inspired by others. Sometimes, copying their outfit and song choice imitating them.

This App has been one of the fastest growing of 2018, with more downloads than Instagram. No doubt, it will be just as if not more popular during 2019. Especially, with the media coverage! So much controversy has surrounded TikTok.

However, make sure you review what your children upload. Set their profiles to private. As well as monitoring their time on the App. This post has featured the cons of Tik Tok. It’s also understandable you don’t want to be ‘that parent’ which stops their child from engaging. Making them feel left out amongst their friends. Parents, it’s up to you if you choose for your children to engage.

Child representing Tik Tok Trending App
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

What’s your view on the the Trending App TikTok, where do you stand?


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