TikTok BANNED in a whole lot of Scots colleges amid fears children are being groomed by pervs and focused by bullies

Hundreds of schools across Scotland have banned the controversial TikTok app in class amid fears of bullying and foster care.

Research by Scottish Sun found that more than half of the 32 local authorities prevented children from using the controversial app in their buildings.

The video app has been banned in hundreds of schools in Scotland

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The video app has been banned in hundreds of schools in Scotland

The move comes after child safety experts warned of the dangers of the video sharing platform, which is used by large numbers of young people.

John Carr OBE, a former UK government advisor on online child safety, backed the decision to ban the sensation on social media when he claimed “TikTok is not a suitable environment for children”.

He told The Scottish Sun, “Should kids be on TikTok during class? Absolutely not.

“A lot of things there are terrible for children.

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“I know there are fun things like crazy dances, but there is a darker side when older men stare at children and try to contact them to do more explicit dances.

“These types of apps also risk early sexualization of children, making them more likely to be groomed or have underage sex.

“Children can easily be bullied there, and there are also many very dangerous pranks on children in tall buildings that can encourage copycat stunts.”

The students were not allowed to use the app in the school

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The students were not allowed to use the app in the school

We found 19 councils banned the use of TikTok in classrooms.

The biggest local authority preventing children from accessing the app in class or on iPads and community computers are Glasgow and Edinburgh – although they cannot prevent students from using 3G or 4G to access it outside of school .

North Ayrshire Council announced that they had warned students about the “dangers of this app,” while West Dunbartonshire Council said all of their teachers had received cybersecurity advice on TikTok.

It is feared that children will be attacked by perverts and bullies

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It is feared that children will be attacked by perverts and bullies

Ten councils haven’t blocked it, but many have advised children on how to use it and have also not allowed them to access it on school iPads.

Two authorities did not answer our questions, and one accused Covid of having used up the resources.

It comes weeks after an investigation by BBC Panorama last month found TikTok has been slow to crack down on adults engaging children in sexually explicit conversations.

Teens told the program that they were subjected to daily abuse, including death threats, racism and bullying because of their weight.

And experts have warned that one of the biggest problems with the app is that its technology often suggests inappropriate content to young users.

Andy Burrows, NSPCC director of Child Safety Online, said, “TikTok has taken several steps to protect children on its website, including not direct messaging for children under the age of 16.

“However, there is still a real risk that disruptive and harmful content will be recommended to young users on this platform.

Andy Burrows raised concerns about the content of the app

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Andy Burrows raised concerns about the content of the app

“This may be especially challenging for TikTok as its algorithms are so effective that content goes viral. However, the website is responsible for keeping children safe and needs to find a way to overcome this. If it doesn’t, then the UK government’s upcoming online claims laws must take a firm stance and hold TikTok accountable. “

The Chief Police Officer of Scotland, Anton Stephenson of Safer Communities, warned children who use such apps not to see inappropriate content and “put themselves at risk”.

He told The Scottish Sun, “This can result in the sharing of material that is not suitable for children and teenagers.

“If a young person receives or finds offensive material online, we encourage them to report it to a teacher, parent, guardian or school liaison officer. If a child or teenager is contacted online by someone they don’t know should also do, they should too. “

Mr. Carr added, “We know there are eight and nine year olds there, even though the minimum age is 13.

Where it was banned in Scotland

Midlothian: FORBIDDEN
Fife: Not prohibited
CNE-SIAR: NOT PROHIBITED
Renfrewshire: NOT PROHIBITED
Highlands: NOT FORBIDDEN
Argyll Bute: FORBIDDEN
Falkirk: FORBIDDEN
Aberdeen: FORBIDDEN
Moray: NOT FORBIDDEN
Aberdeenshire: NOT PROHIBITED
East Dunbartonshire: NOT PROHIBITED
Edinburgh: FORBIDDEN
East Ayrshire: FORBIDDEN
Angus: FORBIDDEN
Inverclyde: FORBIDDEN
West Lothian: FORBIDDEN
Stirling: NOT PROHIBITED
East Lothian: FORBIDDEN
Perth: FORBIDDEN
East Ren: NOT PROHIBITED
Clackmannanshire: FORBIDDEN
South Ayrshire: FORBIDDEN
Scottish Borders: FORBIDDEN
South Lanarkshire: FORBIDDEN
West Dunbartonshire: FORBIDDEN
North Lanarkshire: FORBIDDEN
North Ayrshire: FORBIDDEN
Glasgow: FORBIDDEN
Orkney: NOT PROHIBITED
Shetland: NO RESPONSE FROM CORONAVIRUS
Dumfries and Galloway: NO RESPONSE FROM COVID

“Similar things can happen in any app, but the problem with TikTok is that it’s so successful with kids. It’s the most popular of its kind on a country mile right now. “

Chinese-owned TikTok was founded in September 2016 and is now the most downloaded app in the world with over a billion users.

Every fourth Brit uses it and it is the fastest growing social media platform of all time.

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A TikTok spokesperson said, “TikTok is designed to create a positive space for creativity, and the safety of our community is our top priority.

“We do not allow bullying on our platform and pursue a zero tolerance approach for predatory or caring behavior towards minors.

“We take action when we are made aware of issues, including banning accounts permanently and reporting illegal behavior to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”

ben.archibald@the-sun.co.uk

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