It goes without saying that the internet has been the biggest success story for any kind of illegal or immoral base around the globe. One of the most viable for this award has been the social media platform “Tik Tok” whose 2018 launch has been incredibly popular among young people in 155 countries and 75 languages. This is so much so that Globalwebinex indicated in their 2019 report that they have captured 41% of the market of those aged 16-24 years. However, all is not good in Tik Tok land because a good percentage of their users are young girls, and this demographic is ripe for scams, pornography, and personal danger that the platform presents.
If all of this isn’t bad enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a landscape that has given young girls less time in person with their friends and more time online. A favourite with the Gen Z younger female group is Tik Tok, and since there are quite a few teen girls that have become celebrities simply for doing strange dances or dressing up oddly. For many adolescent girls, getting this type of attention not only makes them enviable but appeases the insecurities that are rampant with that age group. Yong teen girls make up a larger percentage of users than boys.
Anyone that scrolls through Tik Tok, which has overtaken all other social media platforms for app downloads, you will be shocked at the sheer volume of content. To young people, who can be easily influenced, they will see pornography, sex tips, starvation diets, and some of the new Randonauting “games” that encourage users to go out in real life challenges that put them in extreme danger. The users take videos and upload their experiences. In one video, teens were taken to a deserted island in the Seattle area and told to open a black suitcase. Police later reported that the suitcase was filled with human remains. These games have covered all kinds of so-called “adventures” into uninhabited forests and derelict areas and the participants don’t tell anyone about where they are going. Teen users have indicated that they have been followed by strangers on foot and in vehicles, and one hysterical teen uploaded a video of her in tears as she said she was led to someone who had been shot on the side of the road.
There are additional sick and twisted directions that Tik Tok offers to their users. Sexual predators of children know and use this platform as a way to create videos and have interaction with children. Tik Tok does have a “parental control” area that parents can use to limit what their kids are exposed to, but the question is: do parents use it?
We may live in a society where trends are always hot, and for teens this is one of their main focus areas. However, one trend that has shown up on Tik Tok is for young girls to take videos of themselves acting like they are victims of domestic abuse. They make up their faces to emulate bruises and black eyes and then tell false stories. This is not only bad on so many levels, but it reduces the priority of those that truly are suffering from domestic abuse.
“The internet may be a bastion of helpful information, with social media platforms offering ways to connect with long lost loved ones, but it is also a forum for those that can give misinformation and lure our children into dangerous situations. DaVinci Forensics makes every effort to keep people informed so that they can be proactive against criminals on the net.
– Sharon Knowles, CEO DaVinci Forensics