'More than 60,000 concerned parents oppose TikTok'

More than 60,000 concerned parents believe that regulators in Europe should intervene in the popular movie app TikTok.

This article was published on 7th April 2021 on Trouw in the Netherlands. 
Please find the English translation below.

The Chinese company Bytedance, owner of TikTok, would not do enough to guarantee the safety of the mostly young users. That says the Foundation for Market Information Research (SOMI), which represents these parents.

According to SOMI, concerns about the Chinese platform among parents are greater than ever after another deadly incident with the so-called 'blackout challenge' on TikTok. In addition, people let themselves suffocate for as long as possible while filming themselves. Last month, a 12-year-old American boy would have died as a result of that challenge. Earlier this year, a ten-year-old Italian girl also died from the blackout challenge, her parents said. Children under the age of sixteen do need permission from their parents for a TikTok account, but according to SOMI, the age check is easy to circumvent.

SOMI had already appealed to Dutch and European regulators in January to take tougher action against TikTok. An appeal is now also being made to Ireland, where TikTok has established its European headquarters, to intervene immediately. SOMI states that in addition to the many dangerous challenges on TikTok, the social medium is also a paradise for child predators looking for victims.


Moreover, TikTok violates the privacy rules, according to the foundation that is preparing a collective claim against the app. “The participants come from all over Europe. Anyone who has an account of their own or has children with a TikTok account can participate in the claim ”, says Cor Wijtvliet, co-founder of SOMI.

TikTok has said it is doing a lot to ensure the safety of young users. For example, accounts of users between thirteen and fifteen years old would be set to private by default and strangers would not be able to see their videos automatically. Moderators also ban inappropriate videos and users can report offensive material. According to TikTok, the safety of young users is the number one priority.

Click here for the original article on Trouw.nl (in Dutch)