Thu, Dec 27, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Parents scramble to keep up as teens flock to TikTok

FLEETING FAME:With 500 million followers, the short-term video content app has aroused concern over its inappropriate content and impact on young users

AFP, PARIS

ByteDance, whose app is called Douyin in China, said it works extensively to protect its users, with software that monitors content and “a continually growing team of moderators”.

However, Di Palma said that many parents are still unaware of the risks “and are astonished to see their little angels in poses inappropriate for their age.”

The effects of early exposure to social media are so new that “parents, educators, even doctors ... are either underqualified or completely ignorant in the face of the need to guide a young generation in the dangers and possibilities of these new technologies,” Solis said.

William Soally, a French father whose 12-year-old daughter is a dance fan, took action after seeing alerts about TikTok among YouTube users.

“I talked about it with my daughter and we decided to remove the app from her phone,” Soally, 35, said, adding that the move had initially provoked tears and worries about “a loss of social status.”

“The solution has to come from parents, who need to understand that the Internet is not a world of Care Bears,” he said, referring to the 1980s cartoon characters.

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