If you want to stay up with the newest news in a fun way, or if you’re going to learn about the latest memes and trends, TikTok is the app for you. Is there a deeper dark side to this story as well?
Is it possible to make use of it on your own? Is TikTok a threat to the privacy and security of its users? Since its launch in September 2016, TikTok has become a worldwide phenomenon, attracting more than a billion users monthly.
However, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. There is a more sinister side to TikTok that may cause you to rethink your decision to use it.
The privacy question on Vine, the popular short-video social network, has been the most talked-about topic in the last week. The Chinese Communist Party may utilize “your private information,” he said on July 7, indicating that the United States was considering banning TikTok because it could put “your private information” in the hands of the Chinese government.
The DNC issued a warning to its employees on July 10 regarding the dangers of utilizing it. (The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.) when Amazon discovered that the order had been delivered in error the following day, it advised employees to refrain from using TikTok on their work phones.
- What is the goal of the TikTok application?
- What is the backstory to this situation?
- What exactly is the source of this problem?
- Who is to blame for TikTok’s latest ban?
- Reasons why TikTok Is Bad for You?
- Does there seem to be anything you can do to continue using TikTok while maintaining your privacy?
Fact: TikTok has almost 800 million active users at present
What is the goal of the TikTok application?
Users of the video-sharing software TikTok can upload clips ranging from 15 to 60 seconds in length, generally accompanied by music or dramatic narration. Videos can be discovered and shared through the use of “Likes” and hashtags.
What is the backstory to this situation?
Musical.ly, a popular lip-sync app, was relaunched as TikTok when it gained widespread popularity. After purchasing the app from a Chinese startup in 2018, ByteDance relaunched it with enhanced functionality.
As a result, it will be the most popular app on the planet in the first quarter of 2020, according to analysts’ predictions. It has been downloaded more than two billion times, with 41% of its users between 16 and 24.
What exactly is the source of this problem?
There are three aspects to this issue. Because TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is situated in China, there are concerns that the company may share user information with the Chinese government, either purposefully or unintentionally, through data demands.
In the past, there have been concerns raised about TikTok’s collection of user data. Mr. Chris Morales, Vectra’s head of security analytics, expressed worry that the data collected by TikTok could reveal more information about a person’s whereabouts or activities than was intended by the company.
In theory, you might be able to trace someone down to a military installation or a government building. A source of concern for experts in the code behind TikTok, which they believe may open the door to data leaks and other security flaws. TikTok has addressed many significant problems, including one found in January 2020 that allowed an attacker to take control of another user’s account and upload illicit content to the platform.
Thoughts on the whole situation?
According to a study, TikTok collects a substantial amount of information about its users. We only require your email address, phone number, and a social media account URL when you sign up. The software requires authorization to access the user’s location, audio/camera recordings, and contact information, according to a Lookout study into the matter.
Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, collect significantly more information than that. It has been noted by Hank Schless, the manager of security solutions at Lookout, that the data can be utilized to identify and track the activities of specific app users simply. Schloss voiced alarm over the fact that a Chinese corporation controls TikTok.
According to research published in 2019 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Beijing is accused of imprisoning and re-educating an estimated 1 million members of religious minorities and re-educating them.
The Chinese government is far more aggressive than other countries when it comes to getting firms to provide information. ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, has engaged with local law enforcement organizations in Xinjiang (ASPI). Following the findings of the investigation, this company is regularly disseminating “party-state propaganda about Xinjiang.”
In May, it was announced that Kevin Mayer would lead TikTok, a former Disney executive located in California, who would be the company’s first CEO after being denied sharing information with Chinese authorities.
TikTok, to the best of our knowledge and based on the findings of our investigation, tracks its users excessively and stores the data it obtains on Chinese servers with the ISP Alibaba.
Privacy issues about the whole situation:
Furthermore, China’s social and political standards influence moderation and how it is practiced. The Guardian reported in September 2019 that TikTok managers were ordered to erase videos mentioning Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, and the banned Falun Gong religious sect.
According to a March Intercept report, administrators were also directed to eliminate videos from persons who appeared to be abnormally unattractive, destitute, or crippled, as well as Hong Kong protest recordings.
Who is to blame for TikTok's latest ban?
Wells Fargo announced on Monday that it would require its staff to remove TikTok from their smartphones. Amazon had asked its employees to do the same in the previous week but later reversed that decision, claiming erroneous instructions.
TikTok and 50 other China-based applications were banned in June by the Indian government as a danger to the country’s sovereignty and integrity. Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the Trump administration was “considering” banning the app in the US for the same reasons.
IN DECEMBER, the US military and navy issued an order urging service personnel to delete the software from their mobile devices. TikTok was also banned from government-issued work phones in March of this year by two Republican senators.
Both India and the US have tense relations with China, embroiled in a lengthy trade conflict for several years. This week, the Trump administration threatened Huawei employees with fines and blocked US imports of their equipment.
TikTok was only banned in India following a violent battle between Indian and Chinese forces. Douglas Schmidt, a computer science professor at Vanderbilt, described it as “the ideal storm of technology colliding with the geopolitical competition.” “These types of things are being utilized as negotiating tactics” in geopolitical trade talks.
Reasons why TikTok Is Bad for You?
Social media is already polluted enough without adding another flaw to the mix, and TikTok is no exception to this rule. Remove your account as soon as possible.
The following are the reasons why TikTok is bad for your health:
The Chinese culture has had a significant influence on the development of TikTok. TikTok has been involved in several incidents that can be traced back to its Chinese proprietors, although it would be unfair to lump all Chinese apps into a single category.
1. Some of the more contentious issues include the following:
As a result, the use of TikTok has been outlawed throughout the territory of Hong Kong.
No one living in mainland China who has a cell phone plan with a carrier other than China Mobile, China Telecom, or China Unicom can access the app.
When then-President Trump claimed in August 2020 that he had evidence that ByteDance “may take action that threatens to harm the national security” of the United States, it came within a whisker of imposing a ban on the popular video-sharing app TikTok.
2. TikTok is detrimental to your cognitive abilities
The use of TikTok for longer than 90 minutes per day has been associated with a reduction in attention span. The fact that TikTok was forced to act as a result of the seriousness of the situation. The company recruited celebrities such as Gabe Erwin, Alan Chikin Chow, James Henry, and Cosette Rinab to encourage users to take breaks and even created pop-up alerts to remind users to stop scrolling.
Because of the demographics of TikTok, whether to use brain-altering software is more crucial than it would be for any other social media platform. As many as 60% of those who use the program are under 24 when the human brain is still in its developmental stages.
3. Censorship is another problem to consider
When it comes to TikTok moderation, things are a complete mess, with censorship being the norm.
For example, the elimination of tags has exacerbated the marginalization of particular groups of individuals. Those that created anti-racism videos saw a decline in their popularity as a result of their efforts. “Prohibited phrases” and “restricted words” do not exist in the same way that a list of “restricted terms” does. It’s also unclear whether the mod team comprises humans or is controlled by artificial intelligence.
Consider the possibility that all of this is a rumor once more. A list of persons who were “too ugly, impoverished, or handicapped” to be deleted from TikTok’s website was discovered in March 2020 by The Intercept, who published the information. Rather than improving, the situation is deteriorating more.
Fact: 34 percent of people actively posts every day
4. Information Gathering
If for no other reason than convenience, the vast majority of smartphone users have come to terms with the fact that any app they download has the capability of tracking their whereabouts. If you compare TikTok’s data harvesting practices to those of social networking, they are almost dystopian.
When you create, transmit, or receive a message, TikTok collects “the information you provide in the context of that message.” TikTok also contains “the information you provide in the context of that message.” Even if you never press the “send” button, TikTok will keep track of your chats with your friends.
It also asks for information on your phone’s model, screen resolution, current operating system, phone number, email address, location, typing habits, and even contact lists, in addition to your personal information. If all you need to do is view a 15-second video, none of this is essential to you. Nobody can deny that TikTok poses a significant threat to your personal information security.
5. Safety and security concerns in some issues
Independent security researchers uncovered several security flaws in the TikTok app, which Tencent developed.
Hackers are using mobile SMS texts to obtain access to accounts, and there are concerns about the usage of the protocols HTTP and HTTPS while distributing films, among other things.
6. Content that causes you to be concerned
Numerous studies have demonstrated that social media harms one’s mental health.
There are numerous ways in which your brain might be harmed. Hazing, abuse, and cyberbullying are all everyday events on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Many complaints have been made, including that younger users have posted sexually explicit content and that ex-partners have attempted to ruin the lives of their former partners by publishing documents like images and videos from their previous relationships.
This will influence the lives of those who utilize the service. Five Egyptian women have been condemned to two years in prison for “violating public morals” in videos posted on the TikTok social media platform.
Anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia are all on the rise, which is a sad reality for the world. ISIS has even used the site to spread its extremist message, according to the organization.
In the end, all of your worries could be detrimental to your health. You are under no responsibility to place yourself in these situations.
Does there seem to be anything you can do to continue using TikTok while maintaining your privacy?
TikTok’s “targeted advertisements” privacy feature can be turned off, but this will not prevent the app from gathering your personal information in the first place, as it does now.
My personal privacy is guided by the aphorism “If in doubt,” which means “Liar, lie, lie.” Your real name or other social networking accounts are not required for TikTok to function properly. Create a fictitious character and use a throwaway e-mail account to communicate with them.
Unless you sign in using your phone number or email address, you will not follow specific individuals or contribute your own content on the app or the open Web. TikTok, on the other hand, will continue to gather device data in the same manner as before.
The TikTok Stats for September 2021 has been updated with the most recent data. A description of TikTok can be found in this snapshot. TikTok has more than one billion users all over the world, with more than 200 million downloads in the US alone, according to the company. You must be present on TikTok at this time if your target demographic is anyone between the ages of 13 and 60.
A description of TikTok can be found in this snapshot. TikTok is a video-sharing application explicitly designed for teenagers to produce and share their own video content. Among young people, lip-syncing videos have been popular user-generated content from the early days of social networking (especially on YouTube).
In India, TikTok is the most downloaded app, having received 611 million downloads and being used by one-third of the country’s smartphone users.
On TikTok, it’s easy to get caught up in comparing oneself to others. This is true for most social media platforms, except TikTok Shows Disordered Eating, which is much more prevalent. Bullying is a possibility on TikTok, including eating disorders and C.W. Bullying.