TikTok - Real Short Videos
This is a very popular video karaoke app where we found minors sharing adult content with strangers. It is also is a platform where children are often exposed to sexting and bullying. Users can make videos of themselves lip-syncing to songs and post them publicly. When their video is posted, anyone can “like”, comment, and direct message your child when their privacy settings are set to “public”. There are numerous safety issues with this app. First of all, the app allows users to search for users (often pre-teen and early teen girls) nearby. You can watch them dance around in their bedrooms and then "follow them" and get notifications when they come online. We've seen an enormous amount of direct posts from young teens interested in and willing to exchange naked photos/videos as well as adults explicitly saying that they want to do the same and that "age doesn't matter." We've seen such adults following the accounts of young girls on Musical.ly. There have also been a lot of bullying incidents on this app. It's very easy to find adult content on the app, starting with profile photos of genitals. For these reasons, no child should use this app.
Because Musical.ly is so popular, it may be difficult for your child to understand why they are not allowed to have it. Try talking to your child about why they want this app. If your child enjoys making karaoke videos, try to find an alternative method of making videos and share them with friends/family only. If your child wants to use this app to meet strangers, talk to him/her about why this is a safety risk. If your child has been using this app frequently, ask to see his/her activity. Based on their followers and the nature of the conversations they are having, you may want to involve law enforcement to protect your child.
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