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Why TikTok is the app that users are most worried about

Exposure to dangerous challenges: There have been countless TikTok challenges that have spread across the platform.

Image: — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY
Image: — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Another day, another warning about the irresponsible content that appears on TikTok. Such news items are appearing with concerning regularity. The latest is a worrying trend known as the ‘one chip challenge’.

This craze and has participants consuming a single potato chip containing Naga Viper Pepper, and Carolina Reaper Pepper spices. Content creators advocating this trend on TikTok ask challengers to eat the chip with no relief from milk or water.

This practice can present physical health risks. Furthermore, the peer pressure to complete these challenges, the possibility of offensive comments being made, and the potential for the video to go viral can negatively impact a person’s mental health.

AI-led digital family safety app, Canopy.us has explored the dangers threaten people using TikTok and the safety precautions needed. Especially for more vulnerable young people and their concerned parents.

While the ‘one chip challenge’ has been circulating TikTok for the past three years, data suggests that the popularity of the challenge is still on the rise. In the last 120 days, there have been 46 million views on videos with the hashtag #onechipchallenge in the U.S. and 10 million views in the U.K.

A spokesperson from Canopy.us indicates: “According to new data findings, TikTok is the most worrying social media app. While there are many risks posed to young users of the platform, parents can do several things to protect their kids from dangerous content. As a parent, you know if TikTok will be a safe choice.”

The guidance continues: “As you protect and guide your kids at various ages, you know what they can handle and how they will handle themselves, putting in place guardrails that are appropriate for their maturity, such as the family safety mode. As kids return to school following the summer break, parents may begin to let down their guards, allowing children to find loopholes to spend more unsupervised time using the app.”

In terms of further advice, parental oversight is recommended: “Parents should remain vigilant even when their children are back in school, as additional time spent on the app can make them more susceptible to the dangers detailed above. As for the ‘one chip challenge,’ parents whose children are sensitive to spicy foods should be especially vigilant to any mentions of the challenge and should monitor any online purchases of the spicy chip.”

This leads to some of the concerns that are commonly expressed about TikTok. These include the app being addictive, offering never-ending content. This is facilitated by TikTok learning from the users’ habits, through its algorithm, and continually creating a personalized experience that seeks to become more and more enjoyable. This includes exposure to dangerous challenges and there have been countless TikTok challenges that have spread across the platform. This included the recent borax trend.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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