TikTok developed by Bytedance was conceived as a social network where users share funny clips with each other.
But the popularity of the app has led to unpredictable consequences.
The platform began to attract scammers, pedophiles and other dubious individuals.
TikTok is a platform where people share their short videos and watch other users’ videos.
This app has gained huge popularity among teenagers who show their creativity in it.
Advertisers earn a lot of money from the orders they receive from advertising in TikTok.
Along with the advantages, TikTok has its own hidden disadvantages (we can suppose, that TikTok owner never thought about), which everyone needs to know about to answer the question “Is TikTok safe?”.
The TikTok app has one very significant disadvantage – it has a weak content moderation.
As of October 2019, this gap has not been resolved.
Trends in videos and challenges occur spontaneously.
It is impossible to predict what will become popular and viral the next day.
The main dangers of TikTok include the following: unpredictable challenges; content of a sexual nature; the presence of pedophiles among registered users; the likelihood of harassment on the Internet and in life.
In 2018, users massively filmed videos for the song You Sure You Wanna Do This, Little Girl?
The point of the clip was to show how the teenager has changed over the years. First, the user shows its childish photo, and then appears in an adult form that should impress the audience.
These clips are a variation on the before and after theme.
This challenge could be considered harmless, if teenagers did not use passport photos as proof.
If one of these clips will look at attackers, they will be able to easily use this information for their own purposes.
TikTok users try to hide all passport data when showing photos, but not everyone succeeds.
Some users allow you to see the passport series and number.
TikTok is one of those places where children want to look like adults.
The app provides them many examples of such adulthood.
Among the videos offered in TikTok, a large percentage is reserved for explicit content.
Often clips are limited to self-love of girls with a demonstration of their elegant figure.
But there are also clips that openly broadcast sexual acts.
When viewing such TikTok, children try to repeat them.
For this reason, you can find a twerking 10-year-old girl on the platform.
At best, this behavior will cause the viewer to laugh at the absurdity of the idea.
But there are other options for negative developments: entering into correspondence with pedophiles.
Attention from pedophiles
The interest of pedophiles in social networks has long been a well-known fact.
People with perverted sexual needs look for potential victims among children.
They may pose as relatives to gain trust. Or pretend to be sincere fans and ask them to upload more videos of a Frank nature.
Often pedophiles use intimidation tactics.
After the victim sends them their videos, they start blackmailing the child by sending the video.
Young TikTok users have no choice but to go on about the pervert.
The consequences of such a contract for the unformed psyche of the child can hardly be overestimated.
TikTok blocks in different countries
In 2018, the Indonesian authorities accused TikTok of distributing blasphemous content and pornography.
The charges were serious enough that the service was banned in the country.
In this regard, TikTok representatives made concessions, promising to set additional restrictions for users aged 14 to 18 years.
After that, the block was lifted.
In 2019, a similar situation occurred in India.
The country’s authorities accused the service of publishing unacceptable content, which is why TikTok was blocked in the country.
This cost it approximately 15 million new users.
As a result, the owners of TikTok once again agreed with the claims of the authorities and tightened their policy, after which the service was again available in the country.
United States of America
In February 2019, the US Federal Trade Commission fined TikTok $5.7 million for illegally collecting personal information from children under 13 — their email addresses, IP addresses, and geolocations data-without parental consent. This fine was the largest in the history of such cases.
Some time ago, the Guardian newspaper published information about the leak of internal documents of Byte Dance – the owner of TikTok.
It became known that TikTok’s management has ordered its moderators to censor videos that mention “sensitive” topics for China, such as the events in Tiananmen square, the independence of Tibet, and the protests in Hong Kong.
On October 24 2019, Senate democratic leader Chuck Schumer called on the government to investigate TikTok.
He called the app a potential threat to American security from Chinese intelligence and warned that it could be used to interfere in American elections.
Along with Republican Senator Tom Cotton, Schumer sent a letter to the Director of National intelligence asking him to assess the risks that TikTok poses to America’s national security.
In April this year, the TikTok app was removed from the Indian App Store and Google Play at the request of the authorities after a court in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu ruled that the platform encourages the spread of pornography and pedophilia.
Unlike Facebook, TikTok analyzes not only user behavior, but also the content itself. Using computer vision and natural language processing technology, the platform recognizes objects in videos that users upload.
The received data is processed using special algorithms, and the app generates personal collections of videos for each user.
Despite these incidents, TikTok continues to grow and does not give up positions.
Given its growth rate, we can assume that it will not be forgotten in the near future.
It seems that the world really needed a new Vine, and TikTok successfully fit into this position.