TikTok users dance around danger

Viewers fear for their safety and mental health after recent controversies have circulated through the popular app


Anna Jenkins

Parents and teens alike have put the safety of TikTok at question for fear of predators, cyberbullying, and even PTSD.

   The 2020 pandemic has managed to cause 26.5 Americans out of 500 million to turn to social media for social interaction. 

   Born in Sept. of 2016, TikTok has already grown to become the fifth most popular app of 2020 across the world with numbers still climbing. More than one million videos have been viewed everyday in the past year alone.

   The shocking popularity of the app hasn’t been without consequences.

   Recently, a video was uploaded of a man committing suicide. 

   The video was originally on a Facebook Live but TikTok viewers have edited the clip so that the video will pop up on viewers’ feed without even expecting it. 

  The race to remove this video took off on Sept. 7.

   TikTok released a general statement saying that their  systems, together with their moderation teams, have been detecting and removing the clips for violating their policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies or promotes suicide.

   Knowing about this incident has left many viewers uneasy. 

   Is this app, targeted towards minors, really a good platform for kids to be watching?

   What about the people that they look up to? Are they good role models? 

   TikTok does not see nor filter every little video that is posted and uploaded by creators. Creators have free range on what they would like to share. 

   Although most social media platforms have not yet found a means to filter further videos and live streams, they are working towards a solution.

   There have been incidents where kids younger than 12 years of age have scrolled onto the video of the suicide and now have PTSD from watching the gory clip.

   A mother’s 14 year old daughter scrolled onto the video and now she sleeps with a nightlight on and her daughter has been scared to leave the house since the day she saw the TikTok.

   TikTok has been recently known for sharing inappropriate content such as language, suggestive dancing and partial nudity.

   TikTok stars like Charli D’amelio have been receiving hate for wearing bikinis and dancing to suggestive music, despite being a minor herself. 

   People have been targeting D’amelio because of their belief that she should be a role model to the younger generation. Parents are hesitant to have their children receive the message she appears to be sending by dancing in a bikini.

   Others have come to her defense, advocating for people to stop harassing a 16 year old girl who’s just trying to have fun.

   Tik Tok was created to be a creative way to express yourself through art, dancing and singing. Instead, viewers are resting at the thought that TikTok could be a dangerous influence on the younger generations.