With more than 500 million active users worldwide, TikTok is a social media video app for creating and sharing short videos and the app is well known for being popular with minors.
However, due to lack of moderation and insufficient safety controls, TikTok has facilitated a space for sexual grooming by abusers or potentially sex traffickers. These exploiters utilize TikTok to view minor users and either comment and/or message these minors, often requesting sexually explicit videos or pictures. An advocacy group accurately called TikTok a “hunting ground” for predators to abuse children and Forbes identified TikTok as a “magnet to sexual predators.”
For these reasons, TikTok is being named to the 2020 Dirty Dozen List.
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 so that families understand the risks involved with the app.#TikTok is on the 2020 Dirty Dozen List for facilitating a space for sexual grooming by abusers or sex traffickers and for insufficient safety controls. #TikTokTimesUp @tiktok_us @tiktok_uk @tiktok_France @TikTok_it @TikTokArab Click To Tweet
Review Safety Tips for Your Kids
While TikTok has insufficient safety controls, there are initial steps you can take to protect your children, including setting accounts on private, limit comments, and more. You can learn more about these options on Common Sense Media.