TikTok has responded after an Ofcom report revealed that 16% percent of British children aged 3-4 used the app in 2021, despite the app being strictly 13+.
In recent years, TikTok has managed to absolutely dominate the world of social media, becoming one of the most used apps and having an extraordinary influence on media and popular culture.
However, the platform has been heavily criticized on multiple occasions as a result of the huge number of dangerous trends that populate the app, with parents concerned about the risk that some of the content may pose to their children.
Now, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has released a report which revealed that British children as young as three are using the app, prompting even greater concern about child safety on the platform.
In the ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report’ released on March 30, Ofcom claimed that “half of children aged 3-17 used TikTok in 2021,” adding that “use ranged from less than a fifth of 3-4s (16%), to half of 8-11s (51%), to three-quarters of 16-17s (74%).”
These figures could include parents or older figures showing children videos on the app, and doesn’t necessarily mean that they have their own account, as parents answered on behalf of the 3-7-year-olds as part of this study.
They also revealed, “18% of all 3-17-year-olds uploaded videos on TikTok, compared to 13% on YouTube, and 11% on both Instagram and Snapchat.”
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According to the BBC, a spokesperson for TikTok said: “We have processes in place to enforce our minimum-age requirements, both at the point of sign-up and through the continuous proactive removal of suspected under-age accounts from the platform.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our community, especially young people,” they added.
In recent months, the platform has been cracking down on the presence of dangerous trends on the app, including the introduction of new guidelines that they revealed back in February.
They explained that they are, “strengthening our dangerous acts and challenges policy,” “broadening our approach to eating disorders,” and “adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform.”
Although the study was conducted on children from the UK, the concern about children under the age of thirteen accessing TikTok extends globally, and could even lead to the app introducing an even stricter sign-up process in the future.
Kanye West famously campaigned for his daughter to be taken off TikTok, after his estranged wife Kim Kardashian posted videos with her on their account.