Tech Tip Tuesday: TikTok #eCubSafe Tip of the Week

Tech Tip Tuesday: #eCubSafe Tip of the Week

How Predators Use TikTok to Interact With Kids

The app TikTok is a platform that encourages performance. Data shows that TikTok users are predominantly young and female. Pair that with the most popular kind of videos on TikTok - lipsynching- and unfortunately this can make it easy for predators to use. Wondering how?

TikTok gathers and suggests content similar to what users are viewing. So if an adult is watching young girls lipsyncing, it will ensure that the same person sees more of the same type of videos. So a predator can not only find one young girl, it actually gives them even more automatically. If "liking" or commenting on a video isn't enough, there is also a feature called Duet, that allows users to create videos with someone else. It may have been developed for friends to create videos with a video one of their friends already uploaded. However, it's just as easy for a predator to create a video of him/her singing with a complete stranger. Imagine finding a video of a thirteen-year-old girl now paired with a child predator singing along with her in a new video they created using Duets.
Luckily there are ways to prevent this.
There are two features in TikTok that can help prevent such scenarios.

  1. Duets can be disabled. Then only approved people can find that you and use the feature.
  2. For You - This feature can also be turned off, which stops videoes from showing up as public. 
Just as with most social media apps, TikTok isn't something you need to worry about someone using, but be mindful there are features that can be harmful if not used or monitored properly.