Market analysis claims TikTok use is harmful; particularly for minors

Market research organization SOMI warned that Dutch and European guard dogs must intervene immediately to ensure the safety of TikTok users.

According to SOMI, TikTok is not doing enough to prevent users under the age of 13 from using the app, the ANP reports. Child molesters have been reported to groom children through the social media platform.

The successor to, TikTok, was released in 2018. The popularity of the Chinese app soon skyrocketed. In 2020, the app had the most downloads worldwide. According to reports, 850 million people have installed the app on their phone or tablet.

Many of the users are underage. “A recent study by the research bureau Multiscope shows that 64 percent of users in the Netherlands are minors,” SOMI co-founder Cor Wijtvliet told the news wire. In theory, users under the age of 16 must get their parents’ permission to access the app, however, according to SOMI, this rule is easily circumvented.

Privacy watchdogs in Italy first reported the app after the death of a 10-year-old girl when she tried the “Black Out Challenge” on TikTok. The goal of the challenge was to make herself unconscious for as long as possible, which the girl tried by closing her airway with a bathrobe belt. After the girl’s death, international outrage sparked debates about how to limit the use of social media for minors.

“In addition to the life-threatening challenges, TikTok is a child molester’s paradise,” said SOMI. “It is only a matter of time before the first serious case occurs in the Netherlands.”

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