TikTok, formerly popular as Musical.ly, is a social networking site that allows its users to make short dances, lip sync, comedy, talent and music videos. It is owned by a Chinese internet technology company ByteDance. The app has garnered a lot of audience and users around 2018, and has a huge fan base worldwide, specifically in the USA, Turkey, Russia and India. While on the surface, it looks like any ordinary social media app, similar to Vine and Dubsmash, it has also garnered a lot of hate. Some countries have even banned the app, while some political leaders have threatened to do so. The app has some really attractive features and trends that has made it one of the favourites on the Gen Z. The app is home to innumerable creators and users, and many have gathered a lot of fame on the platform.
The meme culture was also quick to cancel TikTok once it started to grow at a high pace. The reasons for the same can be many. While the app comes with its political concerns, since the Chinese government and its parent company is rumoured to be misusing the data from the app, some people also chose to cancel it because of the cringey content that can be found on the app. Many condemned TikTok users for lacking actual talent and building up on cringe worthy content to amass views and likes. The app, like most other social media platforms, has little to no protection against spread of fake news. The users of TikTok range from very young age groups. A lot of the content on the social networking site is debated to be unhealthy and addictive for the younger users.
Along with these problems, what really makes the use of TikTok problematic is the lack of sensitisation amongst the users. Important issues like animal abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic abuse, rape, eve teasing, depression and anxiety are mocked and glorified to some extent. Some also blame TikTok for exposing little kids to inappropriate content that can affect their growth. TikTok is also infamous for being an extremely addictive app, that can keep its users hooked for long periods of time. Most people against the app put forward some convincing arguments that forces one to rethink the creativity or originality of the app’s content.
Tik Tok, being such a widely recognised app does bring cultures and communities closer and is an effective tool of communication. Some also think that the app allows even the poor to show their talent. The videos are easy to make, and require inexpensive setup. Along with these benefits come some extremely dangerous trends, to name a few:
1.The skullbreaker challenge: This challenge led to some major head injuries and even a few deaths.
2. Concussion challenge: This challenge has a terrifying concept, where the aim of the challenge is to cause a concussion.
3.The cereal bowl challenge: This challenge ended with people choking.
4. The Bright eye challenge: This challenge involves dealing with hazardous substances.
5. Benadryl Challenge: This particular trend ended with teenagers being rushed to hospital.
To conclude, TikTok like most other online social media platforms comes with its share of short comings. The meme culture mostly cancels TikTok because of the unfiltered projection and promotion of problematic concepts. The platform along with many positive uses also helps with the spread of hate, fake news and unhealthy competition among the teenagers. Many parents are concerned with the safety of their child’s personal data and their security. The uncensored content is also a concern for many. Being an extremely addictive app, it affects one’s productivity a lot. Some have growing tensions about the problematic trends and the normalisation of grave social issues.
Many countries like India and USA have already banned the app because of political matters, while countries like Indonesia and Japan are considering the same. The major reasons behind the bans are spread of fake news, political rivalry and the concern of transmission of classified information to the Chinese administration. Many users are also reconsidering using the app or making more socially responsible content on the app.