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Speculation and scepticism surrounding digital technologies is nothing new. Decades ago, researchers worried about the effects of television on the minds of our youth, psychologists in the 1990s stressed the power that increased exposure to violent video games could have on the minds of impressionable teens.

TikTok is the latest mobile app to come under Juris as many people question if TikTok is safe for our youngsters. This article will provide everything you need to know about TikTok and the app that’s become the latest craze in teen culture while hoping to put to bed some of the safety concerns that you worried parents may be having.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a mobile app founded in 2017 that allows users to live stream lip-syncing videos for their favourite songs, movie clips, and comedy routines. Like most other social media websites, users are able to share their recordings with other users and form online communities with their friends. The TikTok app features a selection of different features that allow you to speed up, slow down, and even duet with friends. In addition to this, users can also comment on their friend’s videos and put their reviews forward of other members performances. Many of these videos can be shared on other social media platforms and often become viral sensations.

Sexual predators in the comments section

It seems that many teenagers have lapped up the popularity of TikTok as it’s became just another trend within teen culture. However, this has caused concern surrounding the safety of TikTok and the potential for it to be misused by sexual predators and online groomers. Reports in the press have noted stories of paedophiles grooming children via the comments section of their videos and convincing them to expose themselves in these videos. While this is obviously against the regulation and practices of TikTok, the possibility is still within the platform for foul play to occur – although the platform is doing everything it can to develop and implement the best safety regulations in the business.

How can we combat it?

As is the case with all social media platforms there’s a number of different measures you can take to safeguard your children’s accounts from harmful individuals online. TikTok allows users to change their membership settings and make their accounts private, meaning only approved friends can view the content your uploading to the app. If your children are beginning to discover online communities in the social world it’s valuable to teach them some important guidelines surrounding safe practice online. We are now around 10 years into social media and no longer naïve to the perils that face our children online, education is key to operating safely and healthily across social platforms.

TikTok is just another social media platform in a vast sea of global businesses. The same worries that were posed for Facebook and Twitter are now being placed on the shoulders of TikTok, but this is now a natural step for any new social media platform. When used correctly, TikTok provides a secure community for users to enjoy a sing and dance and find their feet developing their creativity in an encouraging social space.

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