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What are your kids TikTok-ing about?

With so many new apps and platforms being developed daily it is hard to keep up with them all. The latest craze seems to be TikTok. This social network app is from the creators of Musical.ly. TikTok (known as Douyin in China) offers the user the ability to watch musical clips, create short clips and add special effects to them. They can then share these with friends, family or the entire world (!).

TikTok is most popular with the under 16s, but it does have a minimum age requirement of 13. These limits are there to protect your child, take note of them. Common Sense Media recommends the app should have a rating of 16+ mainly due to the privacy issues and mature content.

What you Should Know

  • Some parents have expressed concern over the inappropriate language, suggestive clothing and dancing used in some of the clips. There was a “take it off” challenge where users where encourage to take off their clothing to music.
  • By default all accounts are public so ANYONE on the app can see what your child shares. There is the risk that strangers will be able to directly contact your child. Only approved followers can send them messages, but your child might be tempted to take risks to get more of a following or video likes.
  • To delete an account, you have to request a code from the app using a phone number.
  • You can set the account to be private, however, the child’s profile photo, username and bio are still visible to all users.
  • You can also turn on ‘restricted mode’ to try to filter out most of the inappropriate content.
  • TikTok does offer Digital Wellbeing features to help limit time spent on the app.

Read more at internetmatters.org, commonsensemedia.org & kidmatterscounseling.com.

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