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TikTok exposes young minds to sexually explicit and drug related content and the social network needs to take actions urgently

TikTok has quite easily managed to climb the top of the charts and have maintained a constant position there since the beginning of its launch. The short video application is a great time pass and has provided earning opportunities to many and is widely popular among the younger generation. However, as great as you might think the application is, some massive downs have been discovered when the Wall Street Journal dove in for some deeper investigations.

The teenage population is widely found on TikTok throughout the globe and last years’ survey determined that minors accounted for almost a quarter of the users on the application. When some young minds are present on a platform, the tech firm should be even more conscious about the content they allow to be uploaded and circulate on their application, however, looks like TikTok has been neglected this priority all this time.

Wall Street Journal planned on doing a survey where they created about a dozen accounts and registered them into the age group of 13 to 15, because they had speculations that TikTok was not filtering explicit content and allowing it to reach the younger minds. In order to prove this, the survey was started.

The journal had conducted a survey prior to this where they discovered that whatever content users interact most on their Feed, they were linked with the same category of content on their For You page. So if someone watched a lot of drug related content, they were linked to even more drug content on their ‘For You’ page, and this went onto the extreme where videos and links on how to get drugs from outside sources was also mentioned.

Similar dynamics also worked for sexually explicit content. In this category, one bot page actually means ‘KinkTok’ which means 90 percent of its content was focused on sexual content which even contained the tags for adult only. Yet it was being exposed to minors.

Most of the content that appeared on the feed was damaging the TikTok guidelines. The application however, said that it has been trying to remove such content to the best of their abilities, but considering that it lets such explicit content be reached to young users, we aren’t sure they are doing their best.

The application when was asked to comment on the matter, declined to make a statement and said that currently it does not differentiate or separate between content that appears to minors and adults. However, it is working towards such tools to differ and we are hoping they do it fast.

Such young minds being exposed to such content can have dangerous consequences and will have an impact on their future, hence it is TikTok’s’ responsibility to handle the matte urgently.



Read next: TikTok's "average user watch hour" time is growing as compared to YouTube, posing the Google-owned video platform some real threat

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