TikTok: weighed down by creeps


HANGING IN THE BALANCE: TikTok is not inherently bad, nor wrong, but it is up to the creators of the app to decide if the app will be a place of “family-friendly” fun or a place for bullies, pedophiles, and creeps. All the users can do is to try to keep their content clean, and their eyes out.

Cole Paterson, Staff Writer

People being creeps on social media is nothing new but a new platform is filled with these people and that’s not good. TikTok has suddenly appeared on the social media spectrum and is catching millions of Americans’ attention. With its simple video format, it makes it easy for people to be constantly sharing their new creations. 

As TikTok’s followings have rapidly increased, many branches of people have been watching. Some of these people include the infamous teenagers, college students, and what society is most worried about; predators.

TikTok is currently a bad thing for society because of all the predators on the platform and all the inappropriate things that are taking place. These problems can and need to be fixed, but right now I think we need to be aware of the inappropriate things happening on TikTok in order to fix the app.

TikTok was originally launched in China as “Doujin” by ByteDance. Then ByteDance bought Musical.ly and now Musical.ly is TikTok just a different name but still same platform and concept. Musical.ly had quite a following before being changed to TikTok. People liked the app because they could lip sync to their favorite music or audio track and then upload it for all of their followers to see. Followers could view it in a way that they could not have done as easily since Vine, which was quite popular until its end in 2016.

TikTok was not supposed to be a dark app or the meme and joke that everyone has cut it out to be; in fact, the platform is quite user-friendly and the app was supposed to be a fun and inclusive place for people to express themselves in a very quick and easy way. When I say quick, I mean quick, unlike YouTube where you have to film and edit videos which could take hours, all you have to do on TikTok is film an idea for maybe a few seconds, add a filter and post. This has allowed people to get an instant response for their video, that they can’t quite get from on a platform like YouTube. On TikTok your video could be seen by thousands in a very short amount of time due to the amount of users on the platform and the fact that you could post 100 videos in a few hours.

Although this is a very efficient system, there is a problem with getting instant gratification for doing almost nothing. This instant gratification can cause people to create a fake exaggerated form of themselves that is crazy and nothing like their actual selves. 

People creating a fake form of themselves is not a new concept on social media, but it has become extremely toxic on TikTok. Because of its toxicity, TikTok has led to a bunch of people acting crazy doing a lot of bad things. 

There is not one singular problem with TikTok, but a collective group of many problems that developed due to the mass amount of videos on the platform.

There are videos on TikTok that show underage girls and older boys kissing each other and while this is situation is not usually happening in America as much, these videos can still be accessed by anyone. 

When users duet (a duet is when a user would record their own reaction/voice over to another users content and the two videos would be placed next to each other and this could be repeated many times) with each other on their videos there is a lot of things that go wrong because the filter is almost nonexistent except for obvious profanity and nudity but other than that someone could pretend to kiss another person on the other side of the screen and then post it. 

This is the main thing that I don’t like about TikTok, it is hard for TikTok to monitor the site and ban users who are doing some very inappropriate things because of the amount of content being uploaded in just a few minutes. 

TikTok has developed a lot of predators due to this problem. You could have an innocent little girl acting out a scene that is not typically sexual but you could have an adult just joining in and doing some creepy or even sexual gesture on the left side of the screen. 

TikTok has cracked down on child nudity, but they can’t be all knowing of what is going on their platform and stop things that are not inherently “sexual” until you actually watch the video and see the true dark intent of the predators that many people are completely unaware of.

Some predators such as the user “Budday” have been accused of stalking young girls and watching them on TikTok and acting out “sexual” gestures towards them in the duets he did with them. While most of this is speculation, it can not be denied that in his TikTok videos he does some very inappropriate things such as acting out sexual gestures with underage girls in duets he did with them.

The Budday has also been seen in text messages with underage girls asking to meet up with the girls, and one text even shows a girl saying that she was 14, and even with this info, he persisted. Nothing more than these creepy messages or videos have actually been proven so whether he acted in a sexual manner to these underage girls is still unknown.  

TikTok has allowed things like that to develop and it is unknown how much of an action they are making to stop these kinds of people on TikTok but one thing is clear, this sort of behavior cannot be allowed. 

Even if teens and adults are doing something that may seem “sexual” it does not mean that it is okay to duet with them and do such a disgusting thing. A duet is when a user would record their own reaction/voice over to another users content and the two videos would be placed next to each other and this could be repeated many times.

Most of these kids have not even matured completely and that’s why they still do these immature things, but it does not mean that you need to be as immature as them no matter your age.

Cyberbullies have also developed on TikTok. Users can mock what the other person is doing in a duet which can lead to some negative things being said or done.

What may seem like a joke can seem like something much worse to someone on the other side of the screen especially since they don’t know your original intent. This goes for all social media platforms and is something that everyone should have stopped doing by now. Cyberbullying has not yet been fully dealt with however TikTok is starting to let users create custom filters for what comments they want to see. 

I understand that most of these kids do not mean what they say on social media but that does not mean that these people are not emotionally hurt by these comments.

There needs to be a number for those who have been bullied on this site because while there are social media help sites, TikTok is pretty unique with how people can make fun of others because the bullying is less direct and usually not written. 

I believe that there should be a way to consent to whether or not you want someone dueting your content, because, in the end, the content should be yours to own or at least have some ownership of. 

TikTok is still savable, and while it will always be a place to find jokes and memes, I believe that if TikTok took a firmer stand on what sexual or inappropriate content they allow, then they would actually become the fun inclusive place that it was in China and on Musical.ly as well.