TikTok | Clock is ticking!

TikTok | Clock is ticking!

TikTok – One of the most popular and controversial apps has been banned in India and is soon to be banned in the US. So what is TikTok? Is it Secured?What are its Social and Psychological impacts? We will be discussing all these questions in this article. We will also be discussing who are the biggest TikTok stars in USA, India and globally. So buckle up!

What is Tiktok? What is it’s History? 

Tiktok ?

Tiktok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service. It is owned by ByteDance which is a China-Beijing based technology company. ByteDance first launched Douyin( Chinese version of Tiktok ) in September 2016. Later, it was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android. However, it only became available worldwide, after merging with on August 2, 2018. The application allows users to create short music and lip-sync videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.

After merging with in August, downloads rose and TikTok became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018. As of 2018, it was available in over 150 markets and in 75 languages. In February 2019, TikTok, together with Douyin, hit one billion downloads globally. In 2019, media outlets cited Tik Tok as the 7th-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019. It was also the most-downloaded app on the App Store in 2018 and 2019. Since June 2020, Kevin Mayer is CEO of TikTok and COO of parent company ByteDance

In which countries does TikTok operate? 

Tiktok users

TikTok has global offices in Dublin, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo. The app eventually gained popularity in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, and other parts of the world.

Total Users: 

In the three years after it launched, TikTok acquired 800 million active users. While TikTok has a neutral gender-bias format, 44% of users are female while 56% are male. TikTok has proven to attract Generation Z, as 41% of its users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Among these TikTok users, 90% say they use the app on a daily basis. As of May 2020, there are 30 million monthly active users in the United States alone. TikTok’s geographical use has shown that 43% of new users are from India. TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes a day on the app. 

Security Concerns Regarding Tiktok: 

Tik Tok has been criticized by US senators for censorship, privacy and child safety. Many countries showed concerns regarding the content of TikTok. It is thought to be obscene, immoral, vulgar and encouraging of pornography. There have been temporary blocks and warnings issued by countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan over the content concerns. Journalists in several countries have raised privacy concerns about the app, because it is popular with children and has the potential to be used by sexual predators. Several users have reported endemic cyberbullying on TikTok, including racism.

Privacy concerns have also been brought up regarding the app. In its privacy policy, TikTok lists that it collects the following information: usage information, IP addresses, a user’s mobile carrier, unique device identifiers, keystroke patterns, and location data, among other data.

Web developers, Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk claimed that allowing videos and other content being shared by the app’s users through HTTP puts the users’ data privacy at risk.

In January 2020, Check Point Research discovered a security flaw in TikTok which could have allowed hackers access to user accounts using SMS.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman criticized the app, calling it “spyware“.

In May 2020, the Dutch Data Protection Authority announced an investigation into TikTok in relation to privacy protections for children.

In June 2020, the European Data Protection Board announced that it would assemble a task force to examine Tik Tok’s user privacy and security practices. They included armed forces personnel and its alleged ability to convey location, image and biometric data to its Chinese parent company, which is legally unable to refuse to share data with the Chinese government under the China Internet Security Law.

ByteDance claims that TikTok is not available in China and its data is stored outside of China. But its privacy policy has reserved the right to share any information with Chinese authorities. 

Trump’s Decision To Ban Tiktok

On the 7th of July, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced that the government was considering banning TikTok. Tech experts could not adequately verify the claims that user data collected by TikTok was being used or collected by the Government of China. Many noted that the amount of collected data was similar to that collected by American-originated social media platforms. In particular, it was comparatively less than that collected by Facebook.

On the 31st of July, President Donald Trump announced a decision ordering China’s ByteDance to divest ownership of the application and threatened to shut down its U.S. operations as soon as August 1 if the company does not comply. Later that day, President Trump announced plans to ban TikTok in the United States and signaled opposition to any sale to a U.S.-based company. On August 1, ByteDance agreed to divest TikTok outright to prevent a ban in the United States. A preliminary deal to sell the platform to Microsoft was submitted to President Trump for review, in which Microsoft would also assume data management responsibilities. Preliminary terms allowed American investors in the platform to eventually acquire minority stakes in TikTok post-sale. 

Is TikTok Harmful? 

Sociological Impacts: 

  1. Social Isolation: 

Although the app is all about socializing with your audience. In reality, the users tend to become so involved that they are unable to give attention to the people they are surrounded by and prefer those over a screen.

  1. Waste of Time and Energy:

 Isn’t it too much to put in just to entertain an audience? That too with the risk that they may or may not like what you have to offer. 

  1. Nudity: 

Although Tik Tok wasn’t intended to be used this way, we witness young girls showing off their bodies while dancing in order to please the audience. Sometimes they serve this under the ‘fan following’ pressure and do not want to lose or disappoint their fans.

  1. Harassment: 

As Tik Tok allows you to share worldwide, chances of verbal harassment exist. Criticism over the screen is sometimes difficult to deal with. 

Psychological Impacts:

  1. Narcissism: 

Users of such apps are mostly highly self-obsessed. That may be harmful in the long run. 

  1. Self-inflicting Pain: 

You may have seen people using onions in order to cry for some videos. Now, TikTok users have exceeded the limit of self-harm. Videos of cutting arms, dancing in front of passing trains or buses with a close miss, hitting themselves to show emotions etc, have become viral.

  1. Depression: 

All of this is set just to get popularity. But what if they fail to get as much as they need to fulfill their desire for approval and acceptance? Then this results in tension, stress and depression. Which may be increased to serious mental health issues.

  1. Attention Seeking: 

TikTok users are most vulnerable to the psychological disorder of ‘Attention Seeking’. They intend to satisfy their audience and view it as a source of acceptance in the society. Rather than accepting or improving what they lack in, they hide it under the cover of their acting, aka the status which they believe they gain through the temporary popularity gained by such apps.

TikTok Stars

Inspite of all these potential impacts on users, TikTok still stands to be one of the most popular applications in the world. So just like Youtube, TikTok too has minor celebrities. These are also referred as TikTok Stars.

Although TikTok users show several different talents with this app but the most popular stars are mostly lip-synchers. As we know TikTok has highest users in India and Second comes the USA, we are sharing some information regarding the BIG STARS of TIKTOK from India and USA.

Top 5 Indian TikTokers

  1. Riyaz Aly — 27 Million Followers ( 6th Highest in the World )
  2. Faisal Shaikh – 31.8 Million Followers ( 12th Highest in the World )
  3. Arishfa Khan – 28.5 Million Followers ( 15th Highest in the World )
  4. Jannat Zubair — 28.1 Million Followers ( 16th Highest in the World )
  5. Nisha Guragain — 28.0 Million follower ( 17th Highest in the World )

Top 5 American TikTokers

  1. charli d’amelio – 76 Million Followers ( Highest in the World )
  2. addison rae – 53.9 Million Followers (2nd Highest in the World )
  3. Zach King – 46.7 Million Followers ( 3rd Highest in the World )
  4. Loren Gray – 43 Million Followers (4th Highest in the World )
  5. Spencer Knight – 39.6 Million Followers ( 7th Highest )

5th Most followed account in the world on TikTok is @tiktok, the official account of the company TikTok.

Wrapping Up

At the end, nothing is pure evil in its form but the use of it makes it a blessing or a curse. TikTok and all such apps do have various good impacts. They allow a platform to discover the hidden talents of acting and performing arts. They also may be a source of entertainment and can be used as a way of expression. But as cliche, as it sounds, too much of anything is not good for you. 

Read more about the Chinese app bans in India by clicking on the link below:

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