TikTok is a massively popular social media app that you’ve likely heard about by now. However, you might be wondering what, exactly, it is. And, of course, whether it’s safe for your kids to be on the app.
After all, you might have heard some disturbing things about the app’s connections to the Chinese government, or reports that there is adult-oriented content prevalent on the app.
Here are our tips for keeping your children safe while they use TikTok.
TikTok is a video-sharing app, not unlike Vine or YouTube, with a focus on short-form videos and lip-synching. Dances, “challenges” and similar viral video trends tend to make up the bulk of the content on the platform.
While the content can lean towards more adult themes, including revealing clothing and provocative dances, the content varies depending on the song being danced to or sung.
Profiles are set to public by default. As soon as a user creates a profile, they are introduced to a slate of videos that the app has determined will be of interest to them.
The app allows users to create their own videos and upload them, using a variety of pre-generated templates and structures. Users are encouraged to create content relating to the newest trends, such as “challenges” and trending dances.
As previously mentioned, user profiles are public by default, meaning anyone can see a new user’s videos, can message them, and can view their profile. However, this can be remedied with a quick peek in the app’s settings.
We recommend any children using the app set their profile to private. TikTok is officially marketed as being intended for kids over the age of 13, though some publications recommend users be at least 15 before downloading the app.
In either event, parental supervision is recommended. This is because the app does contain suggestive content. Videos based on popular songs can include risqué dances, suggestive lyrics, and revealing wardrobes. If you are able to supervise your child’s use of the app, however, you can steer them to songs and videos that you know will be safer for someone their age.
Generally speaking, most young users prefer to frequent video content that is lighthearted and humorous. In this regard, it is considered a safe app as long as parents supervise its use. As for security concerns, there is little evidence the app is used as spyware by the Chinese government. So, in short, yes, TikTok is safe for children as long as you properly monitor and supervise them.