The clock may be running out on TikTok
TikTok, a video-sharing platform for the under 24s, is tripping over itself globally with popularity. Millions of children and teens are desperate to post countless videos of themselves, families and friends to different tracks and with various animations, to share with the TikTok community.
What is TikTok?
Like other social media apps, users can also follow, like, and comment on everything they see and is available on iOS and Android operating systems.
Both iOS and Android recommend this for over 13s, although there isn’t a stringent system in place to stop younger children using the app.
Simple, fun and threatening for parents.
That being said, it should have been expected that there would be initial parental concerns stemming from the explicit language and clothing in musically and graphically enhanced videos. This alongside worries of an environment ripe for cyberbullying and inappropriate comments haven’t served to make TikTok particularly popular amongst parents and educators.
This of course, is par for the course when it comes to social media and teens that use explicit language is hardly breaking news, however there are several more serious cyber concerns that put TikTok into a potential more threatening category.
The Nastier side of TikTok
Reports are surfacing that TikTok censors’ political videos and those from users with disabilities. Being a Chinese App, the U.S government is still curious whether the App may be some kind of national security threat. The national security investigation, (CFIUS), is ongoing. The result may in fact be that TikTok is expelled from operating in the USA completely, an unlikely scenario, but possible.
Whilst Chinese owned TikTok is adamant that it doesn’t interact with the Chinese authorities and only operates in the U.S, many are nervous that it could and will be used to manipulate Americas youth and hand data over to the Chinese government.
After Cambridge Analytica, will we ever trust social media again? Quite possibly not.
More importantly if TikTok are found to be manipulating data, this may have severe implications for other Chinese companies that wish to operate in America in the future.
Collection of personal data of minors
With the oh-so-young being oh-so-attracted to this app, issues of parental control, privacy and data were sure to ensue.
An Illinois family is now the second to sue TikTok over misuse of data in the past month. The first being mere days before, when a California college student sued TikTok for allegedly sending her data to servers in China.
The Illinois family subsequently sued TikTok for collecting the personal data of minors sans consent.
It looks like TikTok will settle both out of court.
Whilst this application isn’t exclusively for the young and oldies like Jimmy Fallon and Reese Witherspoon are joining in with the trend as well. TikTok is not a simple ‘fun’ app and that’s for sure.
TikTok touches many privacy concerns which are huge issues for all the social media areas at the moment and have the capacity to create more newsworthy headlines than Fortnite.