13.5 million Polish Internet users visited the Chinese social networking platform TikTok in December 2022. Meanwhile, the service is becoming increasingly controversial around the world not only for security reasons but also for its addictive mechanisms that threaten children. At the same time, more and more experts note that the Chinese version of TikTok is kid-friendly, in contrast to the global edition of the app, Grzegorz Wierzcholowski writes in the latest issue of Gazeta Polska.
TikTok in the U.S. facing tough questions over its privacy
American politicians are raising more and more (seemingly justified) doubts about TikTok. As Niezalezna.pl reported, a bill has been submitted to Congress to eliminate the functioning of this application from the US Internet space.
There are several reasons for this, ranging from U.S. national security (including through the collection of Americans’ sensitive data) to the social impact of the app’s use by its youngest users. The problem, of course, is not exclusive to the United States, and as the editor-in-chief of Niezalezna.pl points out in Gazeta Polska, “the number of TikTok users in Poland and around the world is growing steadily.”
TikTok is addictively popular
“In terms of global data, by the middle of last year, the platform was used by 1.5 billion people on Earth, which is almost one in four people. The platform, which shares videos submitted by Internet users, lasting between 15 seconds and 10 minutes, tends to attract younger consumers, as 41 per cent of its users are between the age of 16 and 24. The average user spends an hour and 25 minutes per day on the app. Recently, the well-known Internet company Cloudflare named TikTok the most popular website of 2021, so the Chinese have managed to surpass google.com,” reads the article “How China’s Narco-TikTok is Addictive” in the latest ‘Gazeta Polska’ issue.
The author points out that TikTok, which in China functions under the name ‘Douyin,’ is fundamentally different from the version available in other countries.
Educate the Chinese, stupefy the rest
It’s an accurate point, because the Chinese version of TikTok offers a different formula for the world’s most popular social app, especially for children, that is unavailable to the rest of the world.
He also cited a survey that was conducted among 11- and 12-year-olds in China and the US. When asked about career aspirations, the No. 1 answer in the United States was social media influencer, and in China, astronaut.
Violence vs. Education
While Tik-Tok, like many other online instruments (apps -ed.), has “the potential to provide entertainment, education and entrepreneurial learning (…) in practice it promotes violence and vandalism in schools, deadly viral challenges, bullying, eating disorders, grooming and manipulative influencer marketing,” according to the GP.
You can read the entire text in the latest issue of the weekly “Gazeta Polska” or find it here (in the online version).