As a parent of a tween,
So what’s the big deal with Tic Toc, it’s just a fun app for everyone, isn’t it? It should be, but these days things aren’t as simple as it seems. As the latest network to house viral memes, comedy sketches, lip-syncing music videos, and silly challenges, TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media apps. With its recent milestone of 1 billion downloads, it’s now receiving more interest in the Apple App Store than competitors like Facebook and Instagram. But recently the app was fined $5.7 million for collecting the data of kids under 13.
Many of these users are children, particularly those who had accounts with Musical.ly. Social networks generally ask children under 13 not to use their services, but the FTC has accused TikTok of knowingly hosting young children on its app. By allowing kids on the app, TikTok had access to their first and last names, phone numbers, email addresses, biographies, and profile pictures, which is a whole lot of information for users who might not understand the nuances of privacy.
Over this past weekend, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the UK’s largest charity group, released comprehensive research about TikTok, surveying 40,000 students on the app. It found that 25 percent of children had connected with a stranger on TikTok, and one in 20 children were asked by these strangers on TikTok to strip during live streams.
In a news statement about its FTC settlement, TikTok wrote that “while we’ve always seen TikTok as a place for everyone, we understand the concerns that arise around younger users.” On February 27, it released a new app specifically for young children. On this version, young users won’t be able to share videos, comment on content, or message with other users. TikTok says its new child safety precautions represent “an ongoing commitment.”
In a nutshell, be vigilant when it comes to your kids on social media, heck be