February 4, 2020

1 in 20 Kids Are Being Asked to Undress During Livestreams

TikTok has facilitated a space for sexual grooming by abusers or sex traffickers. These abusers or traffickers utilize TikTok to view minor users and either comment and/or message these minors with sexually explicit content.

An advocacy group accurately called TikTok a “hunting ground” for predators to abuse children and Forbes identified TikTok as a “magnet to sexual predators.”[1]

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) surveyed 40,000 schoolchildren and discovered that 25 percent of the children had livestreamed with a stranger and that one in 20 children were asked, while livestreaming or in the comments of a posted video, to take their clothes off.[4]

A spokesperson from NSPCC commented on the study, linking it to TikTok, stating: “We know that a significant amount of children are being contacted via popular livestreaming apps, such as TikTok, by abusers who are using them as a hunting ground.[5]

Unfortunately, TikTok’s policies and practices fail to proactively keep minors safe from these kinds of abuses. That is why TikTok is being named to the 2020 Dirty Dozen List—which names 12 mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation and abuse.

TikTok can make significant, effective steps to combat these issues by: 1. Automatically defaulting to private when users first set up their TikTok account, 2. Automatically default on the Digital Wellbeing’s Restricted Mode and maintain the Digital Wellbeing’s Restricted Mode without the need to reset it every 30 days, 3. Provide prominent in-app reporting systems for users to report other users that request, send, or promote sexually explicit content, 4. Enforce this policy by promptly removing accounts that engage in these actions, and 5. Raise the age rating in the app store.

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[1] Brown, Shelby. “TikTok, livestreaming apps are ‘hunting ground’ for abusers, warn kids’ advocates.” CNET. (February 2019).

https://www.cnet.com/news/tiktok-live-streaming-apps-are-hunting-ground-for-abusers-warn-childrens-advocates/?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Post%20Blast%20%28bii-digital-media%29:%20Tiktok%20users%20take%20content%20moderation%20into%20own%20hands%20%7C%20Chrome%20changes%20will%20weaken%20publisher%20paywalls%20%7C%20Snap%20pitches%20brand%20safety&utm_term=BII%20List%20DMedia%20ALL   (accessed July 26, 2019).

Dans, Enrique. “TikTok: A Lesson in Irresponsibility.” Forbes. (July 2019). https://www.forbes.com/sites/enriquedans/2019/07/04/tiktok-a-lesson-in-irresponsibility/#70ffd5d52cf8 (accessed July 26, 2019).

[2] Soto Reyes, Mariel. “TikTok users are taking content moderation into own hands.” Business Insider. (June 2019). https://www.businessinsider.com/tiktok-users-take-content-moderation-lead-2019-6 (accessed July 26, 2019).

[3] Broderick, Ryan. “TikToh Has a Predator Problem. A Network of Young Women Is Fighting Back.” BuzzFeed News. (June 2019). https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/tiktok-has-a-predator-problem-young-women-are-fighting-back (accessed July 26, 2019).

[4] National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children “Livestreaming and video-chatting: Snapshot 2” https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1559/livestreaming-video-chatting-nspcc-snapshot-2.pdf?_ga=2.35661672.916872377.1567544459-2006998223.1567544459

[5] Brown, Shelby. “TikTok, livestreaming apps are ‘hunting ground’ for abusers, warn kids’ advocates.” CNET. (February 2019).

https://www.cnet.com/news/tiktok-live-streaming-apps-are-hunting-ground-for-abusers-warn-childrens-advocates/?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Post%20Blast%20%28bii-digital-media%29:%20Tiktok%20users%20take%20content%20moderation%20into%20own%20hands%20%7C%20Chrome%20changes%20will%20weaken%20publisher%20paywalls%20%7C%20Snap%20pitches%20brand%20safety&utm_term=BII%20List%20DMedia%20ALL (accessed July 26, 2019).

 

 

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

Further Reading

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