Tik Tok: A Platform for Ads or Cyberbullying?

By: Rose DiPaolo

Social Media app Tik Tok has recently come under fire for both implementing iron privacy terms, and allowing its users to ridicule others using the platform. Tik Tok’s initial popularity stemmed from Instagram, a popular social media site where users post pictures and videos.

“I downloaded Tik Tok because of all of the videos on Instagram that were really funny,” said Tik Tok user Chip Marren, “so I downloaded it to see for myself.”

Many users have logged on and posted videos, but a vast majority didn’t clearly read what they signed up for.

In the privacy terms on the official Tik Tok website, it states, “You acknowledge and agree that we may generate revenues, increase goodwill or otherwise increase our value from your use of the Services, including, by way of example and not limitation, through the sale of advertising, sponsorships, promotions, usage data and Gifts (defined below), and except as specifically permitted by us in these Terms or in another agreement you enter into with us, you will have no right to share in any such revenue, goodwill or value whatsoever.”

(https://www.tiktok.com/i18n/terms/ )

This statement means that any video a creator uploads can be used to generate revenue for the app, without giving anything to the creator themselves. Essentially, Tik Tok can simply take your videos, make them into advertisements for their company, and not give you any credit whatsoever.And as long as the user signs the Privacy Agreement and Terms of use, this is completely legal.

Though many Tik Tok users choose to overlook them, both the privacy terms and the terms of use are blatantly posted on the official Tik Tok website. However, many users don’t use the app for its intended purpose. The majority of Tik Tok users make a joint video, or “duet” with other users to react to the original video.

“I don’t post on the app” said Tik Tok user Gavin Meiser, “but the times that I did I dueted with typical trends or things that I found funny or a joke that I could add to.”

There is some speculation about whether or not the app is for short-form mobile videos, or another platform used for cyberbullying.

When asked, Tik Tok user Gavin Meiser said “(…) I think that there has been a great increase in the use of the app for cyberbullying.”

I think that Tik Tok,  just like other forms of social media, can be used in a variety of different ways, but it is important for students to recognize the detriment and negative effects that can result from using this app.

“Tiktok – Video Social Network.” Tiktok.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 3 Dec. 2018.

“Tiktok – Video Social Network.” Tiktok.com. N. p., 2018. Web. 3 Dec. 2018.

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