THE TROUBLE WITH TIKTOK | Be Secure Online

 

THE TROUBLE WITH TIKTOK

TikTok isn't the greatest place for kids. Set up privacy up on your kid's account

In early 2020 pre COVID19, some British newspapers ran a number of articles about TikTok, its success, and its potential danger to kids. They said TikTok is completely unfit for kids. Much of what is said is true for Snapchat as well, but they say there is no remedy or realistic means of contacting TikTok. Snapchat and TikTok are the two most popular social media apps with kids. Snapchat is feared because of its secrecy, and TikTok for its enormous number of users, most of them gained since 2018.

Just prior to the COVID19 outbreak TikTok opened a European office in Dublin to provide a European base and moderate content but it is known to not really working yet as of October 2020. Too little, too late, most say.

TikTok has grown hugely since its former life as Music.ly. Now known as TikTok. It is owned by Chinese company Bytedance. The EU and American Government, suspect that the Chinese Government is heavily involved with TikTok. 

The problem is quite simple. TikTok’s minimum age is 13, Tiktok does nothing during sign up process to check if users are 13 years of age - meaning huge numbers of children join below the required age with no legal protection. Just like Instagram, Snapchat. 

TikTok naturally serves adverts and recommendations which may not be suitable for children. Families find it is still difficult to contact TikTok to get videos taken down. We have been pointing the dangers of TikTok for years in Online safety Talks for schools. 

People want TikTok to behave better and to respond to complaints and requests faster and more compassionately. TikTok needs to step up its game in terms of defending its users. Bans are issued o users who fail to follow community guidelines (the social media description for rules) but for short periods like a week. It would be unfair to pick on TikTok alone as Snapchat and Instagram just as culpable especially Snapchat. 

Instagram is the best of the three here. Instagram thinks of itself as the happiness portal. Last year Instagram following the Holly Russell case said they would moderate 'self-harm' contact and compress 'likes' everywhere to reduce like hunting.

TikTok by the Numbers

  • 1.5 bl downloads
  • 5 million UK users
  • 42% between 16-24 yrs of age
  • 6% of 11-17 years of age engaged in Sexting activity on TikTok
  • 1 in 5 kids being groomed are under 12 years of age
  • 200,000 kids have been groomed for groomed on social media for sexual purposes
  • TikTok fined $7ml for illegally collecting kids data on TikTok
Tiktok, the trouble with tiktokt
Kids and older people sexual remarks in response to TikTok Video. This is not uncommon.


Make Kids aware of the issues, threats to their safety.

We call on Schools, Parents, Teachers to make sure that: 

1. Kids are aware of online safety issues so vital to their wellbeing and happiness when using TikTok. Especially given the poor level of support provided by the company itself. 
2. Close the gates in privacy setting and keep them closed. It is natural to want to be liked and popular, setting your profile to private goes against the grain, even for a 10-year-old. However, it is better to be safe than sorry, private not popular.

How to set up TikTok

Take control of TikTok – change these settings now

Go private:
Goto Settings > Privacy and Safety Goto - Discoverability heading at the top.

TikTok recommends your page to lots of other users to improve video circulation. Switch the setting off and the account will no longer be recommended to other users. 

Getting rid of Strangers

In Privacy and Safety > Safety, you can prevent other users from seeing your posts, stories. Settings are on ‘Everyone’ by default but can be changed to Friends or Off. A stranger is not a friend you haven't met yet

Switch off ‘Comments, Duets, Reacts, users seeing which videos you've liked, and also messages.

Restricted Mode ON:

Restricted Mode tries to limit age-inappropriate content from appearing for children.

It's not perfect and works through using computer-scanning systems – so some dodgy content will inevitably be missed.
Set a passcode to prevent your child from changing this setting themselves later on.

Do this in Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Screen Time Management.
digital wellbeing, texting, messages for kids

 

We say 

Teenagers and young Adult react (or think they need to react quickly to messages, posts, stories) to online messaging they bypass their critical thinking faculties in their rush to be funny or simply be the first to react.

We want to make sure parents are aware of the risks their kids are being exposed to, and what they can do to better protect them.

They want TikTok to better moderate its content so that it’s not being left to kids to protect themselves online

We are shining a light on the dangerous side of the app and how its lax security and moderation has allowed it to become a magnet for paedophilesprofanity, crime, violence and extremism.

But while many of the young users might treat the videos as a joke, gruesome crimes have arisen from teens using social media to pretend they are real-life gangsters. 

TikTok need to do more in Europe

Last year Facebook agreed with the UK Government to step up efforts to moderate content online. Instagram agreed to curate content following the campaign of the late Holly Russell's father.  Explosive growth in the past two years has caught up with TokTok, they need to start moderating content and intervene with videos that do NOT meet community standards to encourage users into ultra profane behaviour, crime, explicit sexual content, hateful content or self-harm (suicide)

tiktok privacy settings, tiktok profile settings for kids
Switching on Privacy Settings

Taking control of TikTok – change these settings now

  • Do the following immediately...Go private:
  • Go to Settings > Privacy and Safety and find Discoverability heading at the top.
  • Under that, there is a setting called Private Account. Toggle this on.
  • TikTok recommends your page to lots of other users to improve video circulation.
  • Switch the setting off. 


Shut out weirdos & Perverts
In Privacy and Safety > Safety, you can prevent other users from interacting with you.
Most of the settings are on Everyone by default but can be changed to Friends or Off.
You can prevent interactions on comments, Duets, Reacts, users seeing which videos you've liked, and also messages.

Restricted Mode ON:

Restricted Mode tries to limit age-inappropriate content from appearing for children.
It's not perfect and works through using computer-scanning systems – so some dodgy content will inevitably slip through
It's also possible to set a passcode to prevent your child from changing this setting later on.
You'll find this in Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Screen Time Management.

These are the best and really the only setting any kid should be using, remember if kids are using they must be careful and these are the best steps to make sure they stay safe. It's only common sense.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.

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