The popular video-sharing app TikTok is described as a social media platform used by young people to post a variety of short-form videos, including sports, dance, comedy, and education. Apple’s download site for the app also boasts “you’ll find an endless stream of short videos that feel personalized just for you.”
In an exclusive report, The Wall Street Journal found that the app can also drive minors to an “endless stream” of content about sex and drugs.
Newspaper Created Fake Minor Accounts
Creating automated accounts called bots, the newspaper wanted to find out what TikTok shows to its young users, usually aged 13 to 15.
The bots were then directed to browse TikTok’s For You Feed. The video feed is described as a highly personalized, never-ending stream presented by the app’s algorithm.
In one example, TikTok sent one of the Journal’s fake accounts registered to a 13-year-old boy more than 560 videos about drug use references to cocaine and meth addiction, and promotional videos for online sales of drug products and paraphernalia, according to the Journal.
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