TikTok Faces Serious Charges
TikTok is a massive social media app that has over 500 million downloads on the play store. The app allows users to make short videos and post them online for public consumption. This app was previously known as Musical.ly and was later acquired by ByteDance in 2017 and renamed TikTok. The app already had a massive following of preteens and teens when it was still named Musical.ly and those users were transferred to TikTok when the change was made.
This is important due to the fact that, according to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of the US a social media platform has to have gained parental consent before collecting any type of data or information from its preteen users that are under the age of 13. Musical.ly, when it was popular, boasted of having a huge number of children on its platform and which got transferred to TikTok. The data that was collected was illegal and the company knew of it, as it had received thousands of complaints from parents. Which is why they were fined $5.7 Million over the violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The company has made changes since it’s fine. It moved forward with deleting the user accounts of minors. In addition, it implemented new rules according to which users under the age limit will only be allowed to like and follow users and will be prohibited from creating or saving videos. It also removed any videos uploaded by people under the age of 13.
While it is a company’s duty to make sure that all the rules and guidelines are followed and the children who are browsing the internet are protected, it’s also on the parent to be vigilant. We now live in a day and age where the internet is part of a child’s life since the day it is born. From the parents sharing things on social media, to the child using the internet to amuse itself, everyone is on the web.
Protecting Your Child From The Internet
The internet is an amazing space, but we should not forget that it is a free space too. There are people from all walks of life present on the internet, as well as content that is ranging on every subject. While this is amazing, a lot of it is not safe for children. As a parent, we should be aware of what the children are doing, when they use the web. Content is not always age-gated, and there is also the fact that children don’t have the critical thinking skills to not give away too much of their personal information online. This is a serious problem as a lot of online predators use apps like TikTok for getting in touch with their victims.
In conclusion, I would like to say that exposing your child to the internet is unavoidable these days. Which comes with its own pros and cons and it is our duty as parents to eliminate as many cons as possible and make sure that our child is browsing the net safely.