What is Tik Tok (formerly musical.ly)? The quick answer is that it’s anything you want it to be. That simple.
In a world of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Tik Tok could be just another digital fad in the Social Media space. With a reported 25 million monthly active users in the US alone, 500 million worldwide, this is one huge fad.
So back to the question: What is it?
I think of TokTok as a social media Karaoke platform for creating, sharing and discovering new ways of expressing oneself. My kids seem to enjoy using it to learn new dance moves and show their unique abilities with friends and family.
I too joined in on the fun and started using it myself to gain a better understanding and noticed some interesting things. A large amount of dancing, much of which is provocative, up until you train the AI displaying content to you by skipping past and disliking what some would say is not “safe for the workplace”.
Once I established a cadence with the app I started to see posts that that was interesting to me such a technology, art, politics and fitness. As I said before… Tik Tok could be anything you want it to be.
What Are the Potential Risks?
Users may be exposed to bad language and content of a sexual nature. Users can comment on other videos, this leaves the potential for online bullying or negative comments.
The app does make an attempt to promote positive comments and encourages users to ‘say something nice’, however, if you come across an inappropriate comment there is an option to report abuse. With anything shared online, it’s recommended that you as a parent learn how the app works, check your and your kids privacy settings and always use the Stranger Danger Rule.
Tik Tok does have a Digital Wellbeing center where you can monitor the screentime of your child, however, this is useless if they are permitted (and they are) to create multiple accounts. Link here.
Like all apps and social networks, Tik Tok does have community guidelines, so familiarizing yourself with them is a good idea
TikTok has a minimum user age of 13 years-old. This means that you as a Parent need to monitor your child on this service. As I have done, create an account and use it to watch what your child is doing. It’s not a bad idea to also hold onto the login details and audit their accounts periodically. Again, the stranger danger rule does apply.
They are generic at best but you can get more info here: http://support.tiktok.com/en/privacy-safety/community-policy-en
Good Luck and be Safe