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Video: The Tik Tok App And Everything Parents Need To Know
With its challenges and advanced editing features, Tik Tok quickly became the preferred app for teens and tweens during the lockdown period. Created in China, it offers its users to make and post funny short videos with their family and friends. The videos shared can range from playful skits to entertaining choreographies with surprising effects. However, the most downloaded application of the moment is not without risks for your child, especially if the latter is very young! It is, however, useless to psychotize! Instead of telling young people what not to do, it is better to educate them about the dangers of modern application. Here is a small informative file that each parent should consult to be able to easily regulate the activity of their child on the Tik Tok app.
What is the Tik Tok app and should you ban it for your children?
Launched in France in August 2018, the application has been a remarkable success with Internet users. From 13 years old, children are fans! Via the app, young people can film themselves singing their favorite songs in playback, dancing elaborate choreographies or even carrying out challenges around a specific theme. It doesn't matter if they share a talent or a simple moment in their day, Tiktokers can also stumble upon content from celebrities and popular models. However, when walking on Tik Tok, one is quickly struck by the narcissism that reigns there, the early hypersexualization of underage girls and the presence of malicious users. Like many others, this platform is not without risks and dangers for your teenager.
Why do teens love Tik Tok so much?
Before criticizing the content and the negative impact of Tik Tok, we must admit that this platform represents a superb way to express yourself. By creating videos, you give free rein to your imagination and attract an audience with whom you share the same interests and passions. As already mentioned, the social media app offers its users some special effects that they can use to make their videos more engaging, even unique. Tik Tok also makes it possible to post content on other popular platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, in order to reach more people.
How to explain and control the Tik Tok phenomenon?
Although Tik Tok is accessible to teenagers from 13 years of age, there are many who have an account when they are younger. Being in the midst of identity development, pre-teens quickly find themselves in a world of adults where they are bombarded by false sexist and racist stereotypes. Just like Instagram, every Tiktoker aims to showcase themselves through the filters available, expecting only one thing: flattering comments accompanied by a growing number of "likes". In most cases, young girls dance in a hyper-sexual way, showing off their navels and their shapes thanks to the tight and short clothes. The goal ? Probably trying to emulate their favorite starlet. All the more disturbing,the overly sexual nature of the videos posted on Tik Tok only attracts pedophiles and all kinds of malicious people.
In addition, it is the “Millennials” (adolescents aged 16 to 25) who are the most active on the application. In the case of Charli D'Amelio, the creation and publication of the videos has been very successful. In no time at all, the 16-year-old Tiktokeuse's account surpassed 6 million subscribers, which turned the girl into a real celebrity. But where does this craze come from? With her dance videos, Charli is not really out of the ordinary. Although his moves are interesting at times, they are not the source of his popularity. So it's hard to explain why one person on Tiktok is more popular than others. However, one thing is certain: teens and tweens like Charli D'Amelio do not seem to have a hindsight on the dangerousness and impact of their own actions. Their posts dictate the rules on social media, while their profiles are public and easily accessible, which attracts a huge community of perverts.
Usually, when you try to register on Tik Tok and you give a date of birth after 2005, the platform sends a message saying that you are simply not eligible. However, we are quite capable of cheating. This is why, as with all social networks, adults must educate and support young people in opening and using their accounts. The spokesperson for Tik Tok therefore recalls that we must speak with the children in order to understand why they want to create an account. You have to explain to them what they will find on the platform, what they can and cannot do there. And if we allow them to have an account, we must learn about the application by ourselves to be able to support our children at best.
The application launches a "Parental Control" mode
The content that the Tik Tok app offers us is a controversial subject, which makes it necessary to take immediate and adequate measures. And although the law is sometimes involved in the debate, it is more and more often the platforms which intervene by proposing tools which make it possible to control our activity or that of our children. After the release of applications to help logout signed by Google, the creators of Tik Tok were quick to announce the launch of a “Family” mode on the platform. The idea of the latter is to allow parents to support their children on the application by ensuring them optimal security through 3 main features: restricted mode, screen time management and private messages. An opportunism or a real desire to help parents, it's up to you! For the moment,security mode is only available in UK.
What are the risks of Tik Tok according to McAfee France?
At first glance, the platform is not dangerous. Rather, it's the way Tiktokers use it that can put them at risk at times. This is why it is important to take a walk on the social network in order to understand the risks that children can be confronted with. Once you know how kids use it, you can make their experience as safe as possible. We therefore reveal to you the risks on which you or your child may fall:
- Malicious strangers looking for a way to get in touch with children.
- Hackers who can make private videos and personal information public.
- Cyber-harassment or videos that aim to harass or upset someone.
- Excessive use of your smartphone which can cause a lack of sleep.
- An obsession with having a lot of subscribers and "likes".
- Excessive sharing of daily activities that expose personal information like school address, place of residence, etc.
Tips to help kids benefit from Tik Tok smartly
At the risk of repeating ourselves, the best way to understand the Tik Tok app is to download it, create an account, and explore it. Take a few seconds to research hashtags and get a feel for the content. Take a look at the platform's security center to learn about the security tools on offer. Don't forget to visit the privacy center to understand how your child's data is used by the app. Then take a tour of the latter with the concerned! Believe it or not, it can be reassuring to sit down and check out the app and all that it has to offer with your teen.
During your little Tik Tok session, it's important to discuss the pluses and minuses of the app and content. Don't forget to explore the privacy settings. We remind you that this social network has a family security mode through which parents can filter inappropriate content. This feature also allows parents to link their accounts to their children's accounts so they can control screen time, written comments, messages and friend requests received. Parents and kids alike can turn off comments on a specific video, block unknown followers, and report inappropriate content or shady people.
Producing and publishing unusual and interesting content online takes a certain amount of courage and can sometimes attract malicious people. So encourage your child to demonstrate their artistic potential and support others if necessary. However, if you feel that the content of the Tik Tok app is not suitable for your child, do not hesitate to delete it. However, keep in mind that this does not solve your problem as similar applications will arrive sooner or later. Understanding how your kids are using their favorite app is arguably a more appropriate approach.