Tik Tok is the wildly successful app, that has had unbelievable success in its first two years of launching.
However, it does have its downsides.
As the app grows, so do the concerns surrounding the app, which stretch from cybersecurity issues, alarming content, and reputation tarnishing videos, which have gone as far as to ignite governmental action.
In April, the Indian Government ordered Google and Apple to remove the app, after concerns were expressed over the spread of pornographic material. Further, the Indian Supreme Court dismissed the appeal to suspend the order.
Tik Tok uses Artificial Intelligence in two ways. First, to create algorithms for its users. It quickly learns an individual’S video preferences, through capturing the likes, comments and time spent on each video.
Secondly, it uses AI to simplify editing of videos and suggests what can make a video more successful (by use of hashtags and popular songs).
The result? A personalised stream of addicting and easily accessible content that drives user engagement.
In short, technology is able to identify what each individual user likes, and use that to its advantage.
The use of AI has proven extremely effective and is a credit as to why the app is so addicting, with an average tik tok user spending one hour per day on the app.
2. Data Stealing
There are increasing concerns that Tik Tok is gathering data from user’s content to identify, profile and track users in the United States. This comes after a class-action lawsuit was filed against Tik Tok in December.
The lawsuit claimed that the app includes Chinese surveillance software. Additionally, its conduct is in violation of statutory and federal data, consumer and privacy protections.
Tik Tok allegedly gathers data from its users including email addresses, IP addresses, location, and social network contacts.
3. Triggering videos
Whilst the content shown on the ‘For You’ page is curated specifically to the user, random videos can still appear.
And if just one video is watched all the way through, the AI registers this and continues to present similar content.
As a result, young and vulnerable users can access potentially harmful content.
Pro Anorexia content frequents the app, with tips and tricks to lose weight and curb hunger being popular videos.
Additionally, this type of content can trigger those recovering from eating disorders.
Despite Tik Tok having community guidelines that prohibit “content that supports pro-ana or other dangerous behavior to lose weight”, users are still being exposed to videos that glorify eating disorders.
4. Reputation Tarnishing Challenges
One of the main ways videos are made on Tik Tok is through ‘challenges’. A user (usually with high amount of followers) will make a video and challenge others to do the same.
Alternatively, a user will post a video doing something, to which other users want to try out themselves or recreate.
For example, the ‘Towel Drop Challenge’. This challenge, although meant to be lighthearted and funny, led to some serious repercussions, not to mention embarrassment.
The challenge had someone behind the camera (usually a girl) walk into a room with just a towel and drop it to film their partner’s reaction.
The idea is to capture a jawdropping, gawking response, however, many videos accidentally captured more than that.
Only after posting the video, some users were found out to accidentally have filmed with a reflective surface in the background, subsequently innocently exposing their naked body.
Whilst there may be a powerful urge to join in on a trending Tik Tok challenge, it is of utmost importance to think twice before posting.
Copyright © 2020 Bondi Beauty, All Rights Reserved.