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District Attorney

Posted on: December 10, 2019

What is TikTok? What to Know about the 'Fastest-Growing' Social Media App

tiktok

ADVISORY: We present this not as a criticism or endorsement of the app, but rather as a release of information so parents and children can be fully aware.

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps, with more than half a billion users worldwide.

Most users are under the age of 24 – with many users being teenagers – so it is surely prevalent with children in Lancaster County.

So, what is it?

TikTok can be described as a mixture of Snapchat, Vine and karaoke. It involves posting short (15 second) talent videos – often a person lip-synching and dancing to a popular song.

The large audience available adds to the allure for young, aspiring artists.

Those watching the videos can ‘like’ and comment.

When used to encourage positive self-image, it can be a lot of fun.

However, there are concerns over who watches the videos (anyone can create an account) and potentially dangerous interactions.

TikTok has acknowledged safeguarding against predators is an “industry-wide challenge,” so even app administrators will admit not all bad behavior is caught.

The app has a 12+ rating, so if you are letting your kid use it, know this:

  • There are settings that allow for restrictions on who can search, see and comment
  • The app is hugely popular with young females
  • The reporting system has received mixed reviews; critics have pointed to clearly lewd content that has been allowed to exist on the app without removal

(Image courtesy of TikTok)

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright


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