Introduction

This social network app is from the creators of Musical.ly. As Musical.ly officially went offline earlier this year, TikTok has taken its place offering the user the ability to watch musical clips, create short clips up to 60 seconds and add special effects to them. It also gives users the opportunity to share 60 second short videos with friends, family or the entire world. Like Musical.ly before it, it is most popular with under 16s.

Why should parents be concerned?

  • 13 is the minimum age according to TikTok’s terms and conditions.
  • When you download the app users can see all the content without creating an account although they are not able to post, like or share anything until they’ve set up an account on the app.
  • Please note that even with a private account, your child’s profile photo, username, and bio are still visible to all users on the platform.
  • Seeing inappropriate content – Parents have expressed concern around the inappropriate language of some of the videos posted which may make this less suitable.
  • Contact from strangers – Predators seeking to connect with children is another risk that parents have said their children are at risk from.
  • By default all accounts are public so anyone on the app can see what your child shares.
  • Users can like or react to a video, follow an account or send messages to each other.
  • There is the risk that strangers will be able to directly contact children on the app.
  • However, TikTok’s messenger has 2 available privacy settings for the messenger that are either OFF or FRIENDS which means a random person cannot start messaging a user unless they are mutually following each other on the platform.
  • Children may be tempted to take risks to get more of a following or likes on a video so it’s important to talk about what they share and with who.
  • There are some hashtags on the platform that may break community guidelines by promoting inappropriate or self-harm behaviour. Although TikTok monitors these trending hashtag to, they rely on their users to make a report to make sure these can be taken down.
  • To delete an account you have to request a code from the app using a phone number.

This internet e-safety video by Internet  Matters looks at Musical.ly, which is Tik Tok’s previous online form.

 

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