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Social Media Review (SMR): TikTok

By Ben Rickmond, Tech and Business Desk Chief 

TikTok is a growing social media website. The main purpose is to post 3-15 second videos of yourself lip-syncing, doing stunts/comedy, or just showing your talent! This is the average social media website, and it is addicting for teens. You can get likes, followers, and be followed by celebrities!

Anyway, TikTok is owned and founded by Chinese company Byte Dance.  According to People.com, there was a lawsuit against TikTok from a California college girl. She claims that she downloaded the app, but never created an account.  TikTok made an account for her without her consent. There were also videos created that she did not make. That proves that TikTok was sending her data to servers in China! So watch out when giving your info on TikTok. 

As you may already know, TikTok is a merger of Musical.ly. That means that Byte Dance bought Musical.ly. Afterwards, they developed Tik Tok and turned Musical.ly into TikTok. Musical.ly was founded by Alex Zhu. He was always into education, and then he thought he came up with a billion-dollar idea: short education videos. Zhu and his founding partner, Louis Yang raised $250,000 to start the company. Then he started working on an app called Cicada for six months. Users could post 3-5 minute education videos. Then when they sent the application for the company, he said it was “doomed to be a failure.” It did not take off. Three to five minutes was too short to post lesson plans. It did not attract many teens. By then, his team only had 8% of his money left. Then he got the idea for Musical.ly. And then it skyrocketed with no trace of the education app roots. Finally, the current parent company, Byte Dance, bought Musical.ly in 2017 and then merged into TikTok in 2018. 

TikTok is everything that teens want to have on their phones. But inappropriate content is easy to find! Lots of adults believe the content is too much, but if you have a responsible kid, some kids say it will be okay. There are filters to block out inappropriate stuff. You can make a private account if you want, but if you want to lip-sync there are songs in the library that may have cursing or etc.  Also, some people on TikTok are starting dangerous “challenges” which is something to be aware of.

Common Sense Media says the best age is 16+. 

TikTok seems to be in the top of the list of popular apps at WES. So, you and your parents can decide if TikTok is right for you. Thank you for reading the latest Social Media Review! 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical.ly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ByteDance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikTok

Cool Review: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/video/modal/5457846?height=420&iframe=1&width=660

https://people.com/tech/tiktok-sued-allegedly-transferring-teens-data-china/

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Tiktok.pdf 

https://bytedance.com/en/about#milestones

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-musically-2016-5

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/tiktok#csm-tooltip-about-our-ratings

https://abcnews.go.com/US/authorities-warn-dangerous-tiktok-outlet-challenge/story?id=68531391

Categories: News You Can Use

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