TikTok is a social network app that became incredibly popular in 2018. For many it was a way to replace Vine and as of June the app reached 500 million users. As short videos represent one of the most common type of content on social media, TikTok allowed its users to express themselves freely.
“TikTok capitalises on short-term creative content that other platforms don’t encourage, by their design and community. If there is one thing Silicon Valley can learn from Chinese app development, it’s that it is tuned in to viral-as-a-service, meaning that their most popular apps have really been about making content and personas viral and also hyper-engaged,” explained Brian Solis from the US tech advisory firm Altimeter.
Too much for children?
While the app claims that it is appropriate enough for children aged 12 and older, many parents are concerned that TikTok exposes their young ones to inappropriate content. There have been cases where young users received numerous harmful comments and children lip-syncing to explicit lyrics isn’t something uncommon on the app.
Some parents believe that raising the age limit would be a great solution. Meanwhile in other countries more severe measures were taken. In Indonesia, the app was banned after a petition against it received 170,000 signatures.
Social media represents a new challenge and “parents, educators, even doctors… are either under-qualified or completely ignorant in the face of the need to guide a young generation in the dangers and possibilities of these new technologies.”
So what is the solution you might ask? While the app continues to expand its team of moderators, parents must remember that it is their responsibility to keep track of their children’s internet activity. Monitoring the websites and apps used by their child is essential, as there are many hidden dangers lurking online.
As our second lead editor, Bonnie Davidson provides guidance on the stories Digital Overload reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Becky. Becky received a BA and MA from Fordham University.