Is Tik Tok a harmless music app? Why is the application so popular with very young users? What risks are there? We do the check.
WHAT IS TIK TOK?
The app ‘Tik Tok’ is well on the way to becoming one of the largest social networks of our time. Especially girls between 10 and 15 years love the free video platform. Tik Tok builds on the app, Musical.ly ‘, an application for playback and dance videos. Musical.ly focused on short, self-made music videos and playback functions. Musical.ly was then bought by the Chinese start-up Bytedance for well over $ 800 million. Since 2018, the app now under the new name Tik Tok, in China, Douyin ‘more uses such as Pranks/pranks, comedy clips, mini-tutorials and memes / funny moving images.
Tik Tok is available for iOS and Android for free. The app includes advertising and in-app purchases. The minimum age for users is 13 years, but the application is also used by much younger children. Tik Tok Video Download now has around 500 million active monthly users worldwide, with a rising trend.
WHAT LIKES CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS AT THE TIK TOK APP?
The video application provides users with a platform for self-expression. With self-selected profile names and photo filters, Tik-Tok users can create their own online personality. Children and teenagers also enjoy to portray themselves through pictures and videos and to take on different roles – for example by imitating a popular singer. Videos that are well received by other Tik-Tok users will be rewarded with little hearts and positive comments.
The app also regularly creates trends that spread quickly throughout the network, such as special dance moves. Those who do not use Tik Tok may miss the latest hype and can not have a say in the peer group. Also very popular are the so-called challenges: Users film themselves in crazy actions and can reap recognition in the network. Meanwhile, there are rankings such as ‘the best 25 Tik Tok Challenges 2018’, which are also published on other channels such as Youtube.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF TIK TOK?
Very intimate self-presentation
It is precisely this supposedly safe environment that entices many young users to divulge private information and to present themselves more impartially than is advisable in an anonymous digital network. Thus, many young girls show in provocative poses, for example, when they imitate much older pop stars in videos or participate in certain challenges.
Over the Tik Tok network, spam messages are sent again and again. Thus, users receive messages that promise more followers or likes, but in fact after clicking install viruses on the smartphone.
It is called ‘grooming’ when strangers try to gain the trust of children in a digital network – even to meet with them outside of the app. Adults can contact young users by, for example, posing as ‘talent seekers’ at Tik Tok.
Comments and reviews on your own video can bring praise and recognition. Those who are unlucky, but reaps insults and malice – which causes especially in young users a lot of stress. The perpetrators often choose their victims arbitrarily, then deliberately cursing them or sending them cruel pictures and videos, for example, with self-injurious behavior or with a guide to suicide.
The Tik-Tok app contains in-app purchases, so users may be tempted to spend money on the app, for example, to send someone a virtual gift. Advertisements in the app also bring users to online stores where they can buy products directly. Also problematic is the still pending regulation to the copyright of the used songs:
If the users themselves had to pay for the rights of the songs, that would be unmanageable costs.
WHAT SHOULD USERS OF TIK TOK DO?
When using the Tik-Tok-App, it is advisable to pay attention to a few points. So the minimum age of 13 years should be kept since the supplier is otherwise released from all responsibilities in case of disregard of the user. Younger children do not yet have the necessary media skills to deal with problem situations such as negative feedback.
Before using the app, privacy settings should also be checked. The personal profile should not be public, even if the app is pre-set. In fact, videos can not only be viewed at Tik Tok but also stored and shared. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to switch the profile from public to selected contacts. The own contents are then visible only to the known persons from the selected contacts and the contact by unknowns can be prevented.
CONCLUSION OF THE APP CHECK
Who wants to use Tik Tok, should take some precautions. Posting your own videos and pictures via a public tik-tok profile is not recommended, as the risk of negative feedback and questionable contact requests is high. Also, it is not foreseeable what happens to their own content, whether they are played, for example, on other platforms of the Chinese operator Bytedance. Users of the Tik-Tok app should be aware that the application is by no means a harmless digital children’s toy.