Tik Tok: Is It Really Safe?

Whether you love it or hate it, everyone is talking about Tik Tok. Compared by many to the viral and, unfortunately, discontinued mobile social media app, Vine, Tik Tok is a platform where more than 500 million users post short videos pertaining to an infinite number of genres. 

The most common videos found on the coveted “For You Page” are of viral dances, comedy videos, challenges, and whatever other wild content people are inspired to create. Tik Tok users use the app to watch videos and post their own, with the hope of seeing their own content go viral and appear on others “For You Page.”  

With users continuing to strive for Tik Tok fame, content is growing more and more outrageous as people search for the right shock value that makes them go viral. However, some content has begun to raise a concern for safety. 

A plethora of content on Tik Tok’s “For You Page” certainly pushes some safety boundaries.

One user from Colorado, Braedan Aragon, commented his phone number on a popular post. After reaching out to learn his motives for publically uploading personal information, he said, “I told him I am going to put my number on Tik Tok and see if it goes viral, and for some reason it did.” Braedan’s video racked up 2,000 views and 375 likes before it was taken down.  

After being asked  if he had been receiving a lot of calls and texts to his number, he replied,  “Too many.” But is Tik Tok safe, many wondered? To this he said, “I do think it is a safe platform because if something is deemed inappropriate or can cause harm to someone, the app takes the video down.” This is true in Braedan’s case, as his video was also taken down, but clearly Tik Tok users are subjecting themselves to a degree of risk regardless of the action taken by the platform. 

LHS has not been spared the hype. Students can see someone making a Tik Tok video or practicing popular dances in the hallways or the cafeteria, but what is not so obvious is why people care so much about going viral. “People want to be Tik Tok famous just to be able to say they are,” said junior Olivia Erndl. “You can have one viral video so easily, so I think everyone wants to get lucky and go viral,” Erndl added. 

Along with content that can put users at risk, Tik Tok has also been a host to a decent amount of harmful fake news that ends up on the “For You Page.”  Several Tik Tok videos containing unsourced stories about the coronavirus and the Australian bushfires have been uploaded, clearly aimed at scaring children and gaining views. 

So, is Tik Tok safe? Tik Tok is just as safe as any other social media platform. The platform itself can only go so far to protect the people who use it. It is up to the users to ensure their individual safety.