Dangers of TikTok for Kids
If you don’t know what is TikTok, it is basically a short video format app, and most teenagers are using this platform as viewers and creators, majority of the content is trash comedy, dance videos, and lip-synchronizing. This content is then consumed by a much younger population.
It doesn’t mean the overall app is simply bad, however, there is a negative perception among the people which I am going to address as to what is wrong with TikTok.
Basically, US lawmakers have attacked TikTok for censorship, privacy, and kid safety.
Because ByteDance, a Chinese corporation, owns TikTok, it will censor anti-China content.
TikTok and its popularity among kids
The app has become extremely popular among young people, particularly kids and teenagers. TikTok’s popularity among kids is due to its fun and creative features, such as filters, effects, and challenges, which make it easy for users to create engaging and entertaining content.
TikTok has also been the subject of controversy and criticism, particularly regarding its potential dangers for kids. The app has been accused of exposing kids to cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and privacy violations, among other concerns.
it’s important for parents to be aware of these risks and to help their kids use TikTok safely and responsibly.
What are some dangers about using TikTok?
like any other social media platform, TikTok has potential dangers for kids that parents should be aware of such as Cyberbullying, Exposure to inappropriate content, Addiction, and Online predators.
Following are the important things to consider when allowing kids to use TikTok:
1. Un-Safe for Children
It is a place where adults watch the sexualized content of underage teens. Several Cyber security experts have warned about this phenomenon. Though the parents consider the app provides a platform to their children to showcase their talent. Such as performing dance moves, and singing.
On the other hand, if you scroll through App’s For you page, you will notice the content is often explicit in its very nature.
However, this problem was there since its inception which is one of the reasons why the App got into the spotlight and media coverage.
Though to eliminate underage explicit content TikTok has improved its algorithm to restrict the such type of material to reach on For you page, and content creator is often warned of community guidelines violation.
2. Misleading Proportions / Scammers Heaven
The children are tricked into buying things, such as some random guy will promote cryptocurrency through fake screenshots and pretending to be a Guru, the young viewers have a habit of getting things done fast, they immediately ask the secret to success and the Guru ends up asking these to join its paid private group or inner circle.
Another Viral trend is Fortnite which is a common trend among the youth, it has a program called SAC(support a creator), that program allows purchases through a code, it is commonly used on other platforms as well.
But, there are some bad actors here on the app, basically, they pretend to be actual content creators but in reality, they are fake accounts, and without realizing the loyal fans end up buying through fake account codes, believing that they have actually done the right thing.
There is clear financial Misconduct happening, as young teenagers are easy targets and impulse buyers.
3. Sick Trends on TikTok
Content creators love to jump on trend to get the maximum views on their videos, the idea behind trend is to actually utilize the main theme of content and recreate it in a different way. It works very well. It can be through trendy music on TikTok or Content-type.
These trends are not all the time good, in the past, there was a trend about the holocaust, where teens will put on makeup with relevant music in the background, and they express the cause of death as being one of the dead ones.
Another sick trend that was going on, was ” Name of boys who will give you disease“. The viewers will comment under the video whatever the name they hated, such as blake, what a douchy name, I hate this name.
These teen content creators are not fully aware of what really means by the holocaust and how many had died in the past.
Basically, it is just a self-centered approach to gaining benefit through trends whether it is wrong or right, it doesn’t matter. In simple words, using ugly trends to fulfill the greed of going viral.
4. Degrading values
This is not just TikTok, every other social media is making you antisocial and unhealthy. Twitter quite literally is eroding your intelligence.
Social media, in general, decreases your retention span and undermines critical thinking.
These platforms are addictive, they use the same tactics which are found in Casiano’s, in gambling, and in drug intake.
The push notification is one example, when you see a notification you jump back to the app to check the response, and once you are back, you are served by their intelligent algorithm the ideal content that you love to consume. It is a never-ending cycle.
In Conclusion, the above content is information only not to defame any platform, but you can certainly see its actual impacts on the youths.
5. Privacy concerns for kids on TikTok
Here are some potential privacy risks that parents should be aware of:
- TikTok collects vast amounts of data from its users, including location data, browsing history, and personal information. This data can be used to create detailed profiles of users and to target them with personalized content and ads.
- Inappropriate content types, TikTok’s algorithm suggests content to users based on their interests and behavior. However, this can lead to kids being exposed to inappropriate content that is not age-appropriate, such as sexual or violent videos.
- TikTok’s privacy settings can be manipulated by other users to obtain personal information about a child. For example, someone could send a direct message to a child and request access to their location, phone number, or other sensitive data.
To protect their child’s privacy on TikTok, parents need to take the following steps:
- Set up a private account, this will ensure that only approved followers can view and interact with their child’s content.
- Parents can set up their child’s TikTok account to limit who can view their content, direct message them, or interact with their account.
- Parents should regularly monitor their child’s activity on TikTok to ensure they are not sharing any personal information or engaging with suspicious accounts.
- Educate their child about online safety: It’s essential to teach children about online safety and the importance of protecting their personal information from strangers or suspicious accounts.
By taking above steps, parents can help their child stay safe and protect their privacy while using TikTok.
6. Addictive nature of TikTok
TikTok’s addictive nature can have a significant impact on kids’ mental health and academic performance. Here are some ways in which TikTok addiction can affect kids:
- Decreased academic performance, by spending too much time on TikTok can lead to decreased academic performance, as kids may be more focused on watching videos than on completing their schoolwork or studying.
- Disrupted sleep patterns, addiction can disrupt kids’ sleep patterns, as they may stay up late watching videos and be tired during the day, which can lead to problems with concentration, mood, and behavior.
- Kids who are addicted to TikTok may spend less time engaging in other activities, such as sports or hanging out with friends, leading to social isolation and a lack of social skills.
- TikTok addiction can lead to anxiety and depression, as kids may become overly focused on comparing themselves to others, receiving likes and comments on their videos, and feeling the pressure to create more content to maintain their followers.
Lastly, Is TikTok Better Than Facebook?
TikTok collects less information in a few ways. For instance, Facebook & TikTok both gather users’ info across devices, inside other apps, and on websites in addition to collecting the majority of the personal data.
Facebook goes one step above and also keeps the record when you are not on Facebook. The majority of the terms and conditions are accepted by the user.
TikTok can pose several potential dangers to kids, including privacy concerns, exposure to inappropriate content.
Parents should be aware of these potential risks and take steps to monitor their child’s activity on the app, set privacy settings, and educate their child about online safety and responsible use of social media