Grooming for Sexual Abuse on TikTok

In addition to TikTok’s troubling association with the normalizing explicit images, 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.[2]

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.”[3]

TikTok has become an environment where exploiters pose as younger adolescents and initiate sexually graphic conversations.[4] 


[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] 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

[3] 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).

[4] Murdock, Jason. “Los Angeles Man, 35, Targeted Kids On TikTok App Posing As 13-Year-Old: Police.” Newsweek. (February 2019). https://www.newsweek.com/los-angeles-county-tiktok-application-lasd-james-anthony-gonzales-child-abuse-1333043 (accessed July 2019).

 

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