TikTok Parents Guide

TikTok pushes harmful content into young users’ feeds

Two-thirds of American teenagers use TikTok. The average viewer spends 80 minutes a day on the application.

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company, Bytedance, rapidly delivers a series of short videos to users and has overtaken Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in the bid for young people’s hearts, minds, and screen time.

At the heart of the platform is the ‘For You’ feed, the place where new viewing content is suggested by TikTok’s algorithms. The way this works is key to the success of the platform but like all Social Media, the algorithms that personalize ‘For You’ can also connect users to harmful content.

Despite TikTok’s popularity, many parents are unclear about how it works or the potential dangers of the platform. Alerted by warnings from users, CCDH researchers studied this platform to understand how self-harm and disordered eating content is treated by TikTok, and how frequently it appears in young users’ personalized ‘For You’ feeds.

What we found was alarming. Urgent action is needed. Deadly by Design – our new report – will help provide parents and policymakers insight into the content and algorithms shaping young lives today.

Imran Ahmed,
CEO, Center for Countering Digital Hate

Ian Russell,
Chair of Trustees, Molly Rose Foundation

Download the Parents Guide now

Contents of the Parents Guide

  • Introduction
  • What we found
  • Understand the platforms that shape your children’s minds
  • Talk to children openly about social media
  • Negotiate terms of usage for the apps
  • Seek help early
  • Talk to your elected politicians about social media
  • Resources

We want to keep in touch with you. Why? Because if we hear updates from TikTok or have any more advice that we can share, you can be the first to know.

TikTok Parents Guide

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