It certainly comes as a huge disappointment that TikTok is being investigated in the United States for failing to investigate child sexual exploitation content.
The Financial Times reports TikTok is subject of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation. The state agency is probing how the platform deals with Child Sexual Abuse content.
At the same time the US Department of Justice is investigating how privacy features on TikTok are being abused by online sexual predators to hide in plain sight. While sharing illegal content with others.
It is estimated TikTok has approximately 100,000 human moderators globally. However, despite the level of Trust and Safety on the platform, it now has become one of choice for online sexual predators, due to the number of underage users on the Social Media platform.
Data from the platforms Trust and Safety reports from 2019-2021 reveal investigations into TikTok-related child exploitation cases have increased phenomenally by a factor of seven over the years.
TikTok have stated their absolute commitment and resolve to identify threats to users and their intention to address this issue.
The privacy feature being investigated is likely the use of private accounts being used to trade Child Sexual Abuse Content, through the sharing passwords between online sexual predators.
Illegal content can then be uploaded using the “Only Me” functionality where it is only visible to those logged into the profile. This is a tactic used by paedophiles on other platforms also.
One resolution to this issue is the ability to monitor content through the use of Photo DNA.
For parents this issue should highlight the prevalence of danger to children on the Social Media Platform. The need for parental controls and monitoring of all communication and interaction young people have on the platform.
Online sexual predators will always veer towards any platform popular with children.
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