TikTok is again controversial, and in this case it has cost a market of more than 1 billion potential users: India, where it already had more than 100 million (its largest market, followed by the United States, where it has just over 40 million).

The blocking of the application, along with others of Chinese origin, is mainly due to hate speech and political issues, but after using the platform for several weeks, we can understand that there are certain concerns regarding the content of the platform and how that may affect minors and certain social groups that have suffered from harassment and discrimination within the social network.

If you are thinking of deleting the app, or not allowing minors access to it, here are two good reasons to do so:

  • Permissions: It's true that TikTok requests a lot of permissions from the mobile phone, but these are no more permissions than other equally famous apps (we talked about this in our IGTV). The problem is not in the permissions it requests, but in what it does with the permission we have granted. One thing, for example, is to give you access to our photo reel to get the material you're going to publish and another is to take the material and send it to your servers without permission (that's an example, it doesn't mean you do it).

The fact is that recently an analysis of part of the application code was done, and the result was made viral in reddit. The user ToBrown05 did reverse engineering, and part of the result was released on Twitter:

A guy on reddit reversed engineered #TikTok

Here's what he found on the data it collects on you

It's far worse than just stealing what's on your clipboard: 

— Dan Okopnyi 🇺🇦 (@d1rtydan) June 28, 2020

With the permissions it has and the information it collects, it could be anything from knowing our first name, last name, bank and the amount of money we have, to monitoring what we type to capture passwords. I doubt very much that they do, but he has the technical capability to do it.

  • Content policy: You don't have to invest a lot of time to end up discovering teen content with clear sexual content. From all kinds of postures to "react when I do this to my boyfriend" or "if you're a kid you'll get it", there's everything in TikTok. In some cases it borders on bad taste, and even though there are no explicit images, because they would end up being deleted, in many occasions they are not necessary to know what is being talked about. The thing is, if you report content that borders on pornographic (and in many cases we're talking about minors), TikTok's response is "we haven't found anything that violates our terms of use".

It is difficult to know where the boundary between what is allowed and what is not allowed is, but it is clear that if a social network is created mainly for minors, it is important to be careful about certain things.

Tik Tok is not having a good time, and it looks like it will have to change a lot before it changes its image in front of millions of users around the world.

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