The short video app TikTok continues to be in vogue. In Germany, usage figures have doubled in the last two years from just under five to ten million. Children and young people in particular are fascinated by creating musically accompanied video clips and sharing them with the TikTok community. However, the possibility of anonymous use, unreliable age controls and risky challenges lead to problems.
To counteract the dangers of use, TikTok has since made some adjustments to protect younger users*. These include the accompanied mode with extended control options for parents and the age-differentiated presetting of accounts. Profiles of young users are preset to "private" and posts can only be seen by friends. It is also possible to set individual screen time and use the app in restricted mode. According to TikTok, more than 60 million videos were deleted in the first quarter of this year for violations of community guidelines, as well as more than 7 million accounts of under-13s. Although these safeguards are in place, children and teens continue to be exposed to risks when using TikTok. This is confirmed by continuous research by jugendschutz.net.
In the current Praxis Info "TikTok - Sensitizing children and young people to risks", jugendschutz.net informs among others about cybergrooming,cyberbullying and dangerous challenges within the video network.The desire to belong to the community and to measure themselves against others encourage many children and young people to take part in challenges. The garlic challenge is still a harmless one, but many of these "challenges" can lead to serious damage to health. In the process, users usually endanger not only themselves but also outsiders. Children and young people need to be informed that such challenges are not fun and can lead to serious health problems.
At klicksafe topic area TikTok you will find general information as well as recommendations on how to sensitize young users to safe use. In our guide "What is my child actually doing on TikTok?", parents and guardians can find background information on how young people use the app. We also answer questions about the opportunities and risks of TikTok and present recommended actions and safety settings. You can use klicksafe's TikTok family checklist as a quick and fun way to start a conversation with children and young people about TikTok.