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Tik Tok

As you may know, there articles are regularly posted on Internet safety sites about the popular short form video app ‘Tik Tok’ which until a couple of years ago was known as Musically. Tik Tok is now the most downloaded iPhone app in the world. work in schools across the UK every day of the week and have recently published a blog stating that it is now the case that children from the age of 6, all the way up to 17, are heavy users of the app.

The following is an extract from their recent post: 'Of some concern to us are the numbers of children that use the app without their parents knowledge. Sometimes a parent has reacted to widespread concerns about the app and deleted it from their child's device. Children across the country are explaining to us that in this situation they are reinstalling the app, using it and then uninstalling it after use. Because the app has previously been installed they no longer need the parents authorisation unless the settings have been changed to prevent it from happening. We are also aware of other short form video apps that are growing in popularity amongst children whose parents have banned Tik Tok. The main alternative at the moment is an app called LIKEE, this is essentially the same as Tik Tok but no one is talking about it. We are extremely worried about the huge rise in ‘Challenge’ style videos being posted by children. In the past we were more concerned about children miming to inappropriate songs or producing videos where they lip synced rude sentences from films. In every school we work, children are disclosing the fact that they regularly create challenge videos. At the moment many of these involve eating challenges for example eating a hot chilli, eating a spoonful of cinnamon or similar. Recently the challenges disclosed are much more physically harmful and potentially deadly. A huge craze using the hashtag #TheSillySalmon has gone viral. Children explain to us that your friend shouts the phrase ‘Silly Salmon’ at you, you ask where and they will nominate a place, more typically open water, a puddle, mud or very typically a bush. The person then has to do a salmon impression before jumping into the water/bush. The children explain that your friend has to film it and then post it online. This is more typically posted on Tik Tok. Another challenge, that has lead to significant injuries, using the hashtag #Skullbreaker is starting to go viral. This involves three people standing in a line. The middle person jumps up and the outside two take their legs away leading the middle person to crash to the floor. Most people seem to concentrate on the fact that' anyone has 'the ability to use the app to watch children and collect their videos', potentially leading to safeguarding issues. 'This is very much an issue and one that we have regularly highlighted, but the change in the nature of the videos being created and posted needs to be looked at by parents, and we need to ensure our kids are fully aware of the significant risks attached to dangerous stunts.'

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