TikTok Is A Pedophile Magnet And UnSafe For Kids, Warns Cyber Security

TikTok Is A Pedophile Magnet And UnSafe For Kids, Warns Cyber Security

“Just say no” to TikTok. That’s the gist of a message from ‘Cyber Cop’ Susan McLean as security concerns about the video app, popular with children and teens, continue to mount. (1)

In this day and age, it just makes good sense to look after your safety online like you do out there in the real world. As adults, we can see that – and we understand why. But that’s why we’re the adults… we have life experience and some perspective on how many creeps are really out there. But kids and teens are in the process of forming these perspectives. It’s up to us as guardians to guide them. Move them toward healthy boundaries, an understanding of how and what to share online.

TikTok’s Terms Favor The Pedophile 

Every app has a minimum age, and it varies from app to app. TikTok is a social media app that’s available to anyone over the age of 13. The whole premise of TikTok is short videos, something akin to Snapchat. Except that these videos stick around, and are shareable too, like Facebook posts. The minimum age of 13 is incredibly low, given that this app is video dependent and that’s one thing that pedophiles are known to love…video. 

While it is absolutely true that we should be taking every precaution we can with respect to our own safety, it’s a shame that TikTok seems to have little regard for the fact that many of its users aren’t even old enough to sign a legal contract. It’s also a shame that they seem to rely so heavily on a child’s propensity to not see their own “security blind spots”. Instead, they seem to be leaving a door wide open for pedophiles to walk right through. 

What’s even more shameful is that even if the child does attempt to do what they can – set their account to private – TikTok readily admits that anyone can still request to view a private account’s content. See above about the security blind spots.

While TikTok may be similar to Snapchat in content and how it is used, in terms of traffic the app is even more popular than Snapchat. And because it’s video, it’s not just pedophiles who find it appealing. Surprise, surprise so do kids. (1)

What’s more, an investigation in the UK found TikTok could be a parent’s worst nightmare when it comes to negative experiences online. Children were being groomed by pedophiles, received sexually explicit messages, and the platform was rife with bullying.

TikTok’s Actions Favor The Pedophile

Unfortunately, not only do TikTok’s terms of use favor the pedophile, but it seems their moderators have a soft spot for child predators too. Sexually explicit comments appeared on videos posted to TikTok by children as young as 9 years old. When reported to TikTok, most of the comments were removed within 24 hours. Most. But while they did remove most of the comments after they were reported, the vast majority of offenders were not kicked off the platform. (2)

Though TikTok’s terms of use prohibit sexual messages directed at children, not only do they wait for comments to be reported to them, but they are not likely to take any action against the offenders. Why? Why on earth would any organization so openly support the disgusting and very public actions of these pedophiles? By not adhering to their own terms, they are basically saying “go on everyone, no means yes”. Make sure to talk to your kids about the dangers of sharing too much information online. Teach them to never tell anyone their age, address, phone number, or where they go to school.

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