Tik Tok is Taking Over

Elie Yates, Staff

Scrolling endlessly down the For You page, you feel brainwashed by all this content, and you wonder why you have this app. Your friends told you to download Tik Tok and you’ve been addicted to it ever since. Obsessing over likes and followers, you are constantly checking your inbox for updates. Your account is public so you can get more likes and “flex” about it to your friends.

This is just about what everyone goes through when they download the app, Tik Tok. It is a Chinese social media app that was developed by ByteDance. Its purpose is for people to share their ideas and creativity through short fifteen second videos. It promotes singing and dancing to all kids above age 13. People can follow you and give you likes to become Tik Tok Famous, something many people begin to obsess over. It was released in 2016 and now has over 1 billion users as of June, 2019. 

Tik Tok can be a great way for people to express creativity and show off their talents to the world. Many Tik Tok users use the app to create dances, memes, art, sounds, etc. The wide variety of content you see on your For You page can be personalized to the viewers interests such as comedy, food, and art.

“Tik Tok capitalizes on short term creative content that other platforms don’t encourage by their design and community,” said Brian Solis at the US tech advisory. 

 The tools in the app to make the clips also give creators a way to add unique things to there video like filters, text, and stickers. Tik Tok also has thousands of different songs and sounds to go along with your video and the opportunity to make your own music. Tik Tok also lets people communicate and connect with others on the app. People can make friends by following people, users can share their videos with friends, talk to them through the app, and watch the things they create. People who are on the app can also collaborate together and make duets which shows both of their videos side by side.

Although Tik Tok promotes creativity and connections, many people become subjects of grooming and explicit content. The main reason for this is that people are lying about their age, which the app’s minimum is 13. People as young as eight have been on the app and targeted by predators who know these kids will take their bait. Tik Tok has no plan to fact check kids ages or check the content the users post. 

“Because the age limit is so low, you attract a greater assortment of dangerous characters, and users lying about their age,” said Solis. 

The explicit content the kids are exposed to on Tik Tok aren’t appropriate for them to view, or the teens who are old enough to be on the app. Common Sense Media actually suggests the app for teens over the age of 16, much older than the current, unstable age limit.  Swearing, revealing clothing, and sexually suggestive dancing or lyrics are found all over Tik Tok. People also receive messages from predators wanting explicit photos and addresses of Tik Tokers. 

“Everyone who gets famous on this app is going to be harassed at one point or another,” said Holly Grace in an interview with the Washington Street Journal.