“NO MORE TIKTOK FOR FREYA!” That’s how one mum started her Facebook post in hopes to warn parents about their kids’ use of the video-sharing app and the risk of them getting exposed to dangerous TikTok video challenges.
In a Facebook post on Friday (23 October), Mara Ordinario from the Philippines shared how she found her daughter left with cord marks on her neck after hanging herself in an attempt to copy an alleged TikTok video.
Marks were left on the girl’s neck after trying to imitate a TikTok Challenge | Image source: Mara Ordinario / Facebook
“She saw a video of a kid hanging him/herself and then she tried copying it using the Venetian blinds pull cords in our bedroom. She wrapped her neck 3 times then jumped. (sic), Ordinario wrote.
Appalled, Ordinario asked her child what the video showed and her child responded in Filipino, saying: “The neck was wrapped with a cord and then the child became a ghost.”
“My innocent 4-year-old almost lost her life”
“Thank God I was there when it happened. (sic)” Ordinario recalls. “I just can’t imagine, paano kung wala ako that time? Paano kung nag-CR ako?? Paano kung may binili ako sa labas? [What if I weren’t there at the time? What if I went to the toilet? What if I went out to buy something?]”
Ordinario also issued a warning to all parents whose kids might be exposed to the same dangerous TikTok video, and urged them to be watchful of their kids especially on what content they consume online.
“My innocent 4yo baby girl almost lost her life because of some stupid Tiktok video. (sic) Kaya guys, please, please, bantayan mabuti ang ating mga kiddos pati mga napapanood nila. [That’s why parents, please, pay proper attention over your kids as well as what they watch.]”
Here’s a screenshot of Mara Ordinario’s Facebook post:
Dangerous TikTok Video, Challenges
This isn’t the first time that a content from the video-sharing app raised alarms about the safety of users—particularly, children.
Earlier in February, a viral TikTok video challege called ‘Skull-breaker” resulted in unsuspecting youths to get injured in school.
Among the reported cases involved a young boy in Arizona who injured his head after he was tricked into jumping by his schoolmates—in an attempt to execute the challenge. He fell a second time as he lost consciousness while trying to get back on his feet.
Prior to that, in November the year before, a 16-year-old girl from Brazil, a victim of such a prank, died after hitting her head on the ground.
While it appears that the trend has yet to catch on in Singapore, parents and experts here issued stern warnings.
Image source: Facebook/TOUCH Cyber Wellness
10 Ways To Keep You And Your Children Safe While Using TikTok:
With the popularity of social media today, your child is at risk of being exposed to dangerous challenges and malicious content online. While TikTok assures content moderation is in place, as a parent, you can do your part in keeping your children safe while using the platform. Sharing with theAsianparent, Doreen Tan, User and Content Operations Manager, TikTok (Singapore) highlight safety features parents can take advantage of on the app.
1) Age Gate
A feature that only allows users who are 13 years and above to create an account, it prevents under-aged children from using the platform.
2) Screen Time Management
This feature allows users to limit their time spent on the application to 40, 60, 90, 120 minutes per day. Any further usage beyond the set limit would require users to re-enter their passwords.
3) Restricted Mode
This account setting protects minors with a machine-learning Artificial Intelligence that filters out content that may not be age-appropriate. It is optional and exists so that users can take control of the content they watch and receive. Once selected, this mode can only be reverted by entering a password.
4) In-app Suicide Prevention
This feature redirects users to an in-app suicide resource page that offer tips and hotlines so that users are able to receive help.
5) Risk Warning Tag
This functionality is added to notify viewers that a video may not be desirable for general consumption.
6) Comment Filter Feature
Allows the user to self-define up to 30 keywords from the comments in English and the user’s local language. This list can be altered at any given point.
7) Parental control
Made up of Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode. Parents are encouraged to set a password for these features together to limit their children’s time spent on TikTok such that they would only be able to use the app when parents/guardians are able to monitor their TikTok activity.
8) In-app Reporting
This function allows users to report inappropriate content or behaviour on TikTok to be reviewed and taken action upon.
9) Privacy Settings
With this safety feature, users are able to:
Decide who is allowed to follow them
Decide who is allowed to send comments
Decide who is allowed to react to their videos
Decide who is allowed to take part in a duet
Decide who can send them messages
Avoid undesirable content to be downloaded
Create and edit a block list
10) TikTok is compliant with local laws and regulations to preserve the safety of user data
Works with leading third-party cloud services and data storage partners to store and protect users’ information in a multitude of locations including the US and Singapore.
Local laws and regulations are strictly abided to protect data privacy. In Europe, TikTok complies with the GDPR and in the US, abides by the federal, state, and local privacy protection laws.
Image source: iStock