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Is The TikTok (Formerly Musical.Ly) App Safe?

On August 2, 2018, all Musical.ly accounts were rebranded as TikTok. It has been brought to school’s attention during discussions around E-Safety and Mental Health Week that large numbers of pupils are using the site despite the app’s creator says suitable for age 12+ only.  TikTok is rated 12+ on the App/Play Store, though in other countries it’s 16+. This does not seem to have deterred younger children downloading and using the app. Though, TikTok has insisted that it will terminate underage accounts where necessary, this is an issue it is struggling with, and relies on parents to ensure their child is of an appropriate age and maturity to use the app.

We are uncomfortable with primary school students using this app unless parents are well aware of the risks. Most of what you’ll find on Tik Tok is looping video of innocent fun involving people lip-syncing and dancing, however whilst browsing the most innocent of content hidden hashtags cause pop up links / adverts to appear taking users to sites containing pornography, self harm, suicide and drug use.  

The best way to keep your child safe is to be as informed about the app as you can, understand why they enjoy it and what they use it for and maintain a strong line of communication with them.

For further information on this see https://parentzone.org.uk/article/tiktok-everything-you-need-know-about-video-production-app

By Lisa Redford on 8th February, 2019

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