Social media isn’t exactly known for protecting our rights, privacy, or shared materials. When anyone signs up for an email hosting site like Google, Yahoo, or Outlook, there are privacy and policy information notifications most people ignore. If even adults ignore these “please read” policy prompts, then why would we expect our children to read any of this material before subscribing, signing up, or creating accounts?
Not only are children just accepting the policies, but they are accepting whatever information TikTok provides, to be true and following that information. We’ve all heard of the TikTok challenges in schools across the nation. These are videos where children and teenagers dare others to follow suit on certain aspects. Some of these videos are fun and trendy, but many of them are awful and harmful. Does TikTok take them down? No. These dangerous videos and challenges are still available, harming your children.
TikTok Isn’t Protecting Your Children
TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, is in the hot spot again for misuse of children’s data. In the UK, the video company could be facing a 29 million dollar fine. According to the London Commissioners Office, children under the age of 13, without parental consent (although this is a common parent mistake), had their information tracked and used in research and data gathering. Last year, the Netherlands also placed a large fine on TikTok, stating the company failed to provide privacy rights to children users. The Chinese company is appealing both allegations presently. If you remember from our Toddlers and Tablets, then you know that smart kids figure out swiping past notifications frequently. So do you really know what your child may or may not be sharing on any electronic device?
LEARN: TikTok and the UK
TikTok and Lawsuits
Go ahead and Google search TikTok and lawsuits…we’ll wait. But seriously, what is this company not in hot water for? Besides its popularity in catchy videos, it’s also popular for a breach of data and privacy. We’re not saying you should delete the app if you have it, but, well, actually, that might not be the worst thing you could do.
TikTok is facing national news as it keeps gaining lawsuits in a ‘pile-on’ notion from states claiming abuse of privacy rights and infringement. In fact, Indiana and California both have lawsuits against the Chinese-owned trending app company. Not only that, but many government officials have banned the app on all military electronics. Why? Well, if you remember any details of President Trump and TikTok, it would be that the former president was trying to ban TikTok due to concern over national security. Now I’m sure we’ve all had a moment or two of frustration with other social media apps like Facebook or Instagram; however, I don’t believe any government entities have tried banning or blocking those apps.
DISCOVER: TikTok and National Security Concerns
TikTok’s Influence and Your Children
So we know that TikTok isn’t protecting your children’s information and definitely doesn’t have their security and privacy in mind either. These are things that we, as parents know, but not something we can easily discuss with our kids since they don’t see the problem. What we can discuss with our kids are the negative influences social media and TikTok challenges are having on them and their friends.
Do you remember the Tide Pod challenge? Or maybe you remember the blackout challenge? How about the milk crate challenge? Let’s be honest, there is a long list of social media challenges negatively influencing your children. However, since TikTok is a trendy social media app, with its platform based solely on videos and repetition, it’s the most dangerous. If you’re not familiar with those challenges, you’ve either been blessed with rose-colored glasses, or you don’t have access to the news, social media, the internet…or us. We’re going to guess you at least have some awareness of these dangerous trends and challenges.
Unfortunately, where there is an opportunity to share information quickly, there is danger. The most dangerous aspect of TikTok and other social media is that it’s a new level of peer pressure, even from peers that your child doesn’t even know. This level of peer pressure is causing children to act out aggressively, threatening students, teachers, and other peers. There is an increase in social media threats through TikTok, whether it’s because it’s the trendiness of the app or something else. Regardless, these challenges are negatively influencing our children, and this app isn’t doing anything to help protect your children.
TRENDING: TikTok Challenges and Schools
Very recently, Texas lawmakers introduced a bill banning children from using social media. Republican State House Representative Jared Patterson introduced this bill as social media has led to a rise in self-harm, suicide, and overall negative peer pressure. This bill details the idea that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others not only verify by simply asking children their age but require a picture and state-insured identification. This comes after government officials booted TikTok from all government electronic devices.
DISCOVER: Texas Bill Banning Social Media
If you’re thinking that your child may be participating in trendy social media apps or challenges, we highly encourage you to look into the Children’s Safety Apps we’ve discussed before. Most of these apps will allow you to monitor your child’s screen time, app interaction, and web browsing so you, as a parent or guardian, can be as informed as possible. With the current privacy and data collection though, TikTok is proving to be quite harmful and dangerous to our children. The app’s negative influences are putting our children’s privacy and their lives at risk. Please do your research.