• Kate VanderWall

The "Dangers" of Tik Tok

I never expected over fourteen million people to see a nine second clip of me in my room making eye contact with the camera to a Drake song, but social media in 2020 is full of surprises. When I refreshed my phone one november morning to a hundred thousand new followers I took a step back and for the first time, thought to myself, ‘is this app safe’?

Tik Tok’s safety has been a polarizing debate between parents wanting their child to be protected, and kids not quite ready to give up their sixty second video addiction.

For a while, the world was divided by Tik Tok’s expected ban. Tik Tok’s ties with China caused Donald Trump to plan on a ban set for November 21, 2020, sending the youth of the country into panic. Luckily, nowadays, it is looking hopeful for the kids who want to keep their cherished app. The app's recovery can be credited to Judge Carlos Nichols, who issued a preliminary injunction to save the beloved platform. While Tik Tok’s links to data sharing with China have been resolved, it is still being scrutinized under a microscope by a flock of “Karens” concerned for the safety of their children on the platform.

There seems to be two common sides to Tik Tok profiles: the creator and the viewer. While some people dip their toes into both sides, others either make videos for the public to see, or sit back and watch videos that have been created. Like any other social media platform, cyberbullying occurs. Whether your child is commenting on a Tik Tok, creating a Tik Tok, or even viewing a Tik Tok, at any given moment they are susceptible to being bullied. These risks of cyberbullying you may expect to be the same for every social media, however, no other platform has had such regular people go absolutely viral, gaining, in my case at least, sixty five thousand comments on one post. Now don’t get me wrong, it is fun going viral on any platform, however when a man double your age shows up at your summer job to hate on you in person, the “fun” tends to come along with a cost. With a shameful ratio of hate comments to people fending off the hate comments, the argument between the safety of Tik Tok is in direct correlation to how thick your skin may be.

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