By now, it is certain that you are familiar with TikTok. If you’re not, TikTok is an app where anybody can post short videos: usually around 15 seconds but can go up to 1 minute. These videos make for a fun scrolling experience, however, there is danger in them as well. Often, people make TikToks on complex topics that cannot be boiled down appropriately to just 15 seconds.
A few months back, a symptom of abuse was posted without context, and because a good chunk of TikTok viewers are children, they took it too literally. Essentially, the video said that being able to distinguish between the footsteps of different family members is a sign of abuse. While this certainly can be true, it is not always the case, and that’s where the danger of TikTok starts. Some people, especially children, will watch that video and think that because they can tell the difference between their parents footsteps, that they had been abused.
This is not an isolated incident. Information like that spreads on TikTok all the time, and it gets blown out of proportion. Similar events have also happened with the subjects of certain mental illnesses or with political information, which is a huge problem. That’s not the only thing that makes TikTok dangerous, either.
“TikTok allows space for predators to have direct contact to children and what they post which can promote child endangerment,” said Frances Richards-Hannigan, a senior at Masuk. Make sure to be careful of who you interact with on TikTok.
However, it can be a fun app to use if you remind yourself that not everything you see on there is necessarily true. Remember that context is important, and watch who you talk to, and you should be fine.
While TikTok can be fun at times, Omegle is probably more dangerous than it is fun, and it has unfortunately been growing in popularity recently. Omegle is an app where you can either chat with a stranger by typing or through video chat. Certainly, Omegle can be fun if you are paired with the right stranger, but often, this does not happen.
Certain people on Omegle will grab your IP address and send your home address back to you, which can be scary and make you feel unsafe.
“I was like 12 and YouTubers would go on Omegle all the time, so I went on and then this random teenager gave me what I assumed was my IP address so I freaked out and never went on again,” said Samantha Maillet, a senior at Masuk.
In addition, if you are using the video chat, people can show you things that you do not want to see, like gore or inappropriate images. Omegle is an extremely high-risk app that is not worth your time.