According to the “Forbes” Council, the live broadcast feature of the “TikTok Live” app offers some viewers the opportunity to send sexually explicit comments in exchange for cash.
The magazine said the content was close to “child pornography” and that women were fulfilling the wishes of those who watched them on stage to receive digital gifts from “Tick Tock” in the form of flowers, hearts and other symbols. , And can be converted into cash.
“Venmo”, “Paypal” and “Cash App” services can also transfer funds directly to out-of-use minors, and women publish their accounts on these apps through “Tik Tok”.
“It’s a digital simulation of going to a strip club full of 15-year-old girls,” said Leah Blankett, associate dean of the Harvard Law School at the Bergman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
And he adds in the magazine, “Imagine you’re entering a store with minors standing on a stage, and the adults in front of them insist on making sexual moves” at their discretion, “which is sexual exploitation, but this is what Tick Tock does in this case. . ”
The magazine notes that some of the requests are directly sexual because viewers ask women to kiss each other, open their legs, or show their body in front of the camera, but other events are difficult to capture because they can be explained. Obscure terms or requests may have a misnomer. However, the effect is sexual.
The magazine provides examples from its investigation of how many users have asked women to “check their clothes” to see their bodies, “check nail polish” to see their feet, or “have a spider on the wall behind you”. So they can see their buttocks.
Other phrases, such as playing with “room scissors”, can invite little girls to play beautifully together or, if a woman is wearing a short jacket, “raise your hands” for a chance to see the woman’s body.
Answer “Tic Tac Toe”
The guidelines for using the “Tick Tock” in the United States require users to be over 18 and over to send or receive digital gifts through the live stream feature, and to ban the use of users under the age of 16. Absolutely live broadcast.
“TikTok has strong policies and guidelines to help protect the safety and security of teenagers,” a company spokesman told the Associated Press.
He pointed out that this application prohibits users under the age of 16 from receiving direct messages from unknown persons, and “if we disclose that the accounts do not meet the age standards, we immediately ban the use of the Services.”
The company said in an email to the newspaper that it would remove content that contained or aroused sexual activity, stressing that its policies completely prohibit any content that sexually exploits children.
The newspaper pointed out that some of the accounts monitored with sexual overtones on the live broadcast feature were deleted several weeks later.
The U.S. government and regulators are increasingly concerned about youth-centric applications such as dictator.
In his first State of the Union address last March, US President Joe Biden called for “social media to be held accountable for the domestic exploitation of our children for profit.”
Although “Tik Tok” survived the worst criticism of “Meta” (formerly Facebook), the Chinese video application began to do more research, which experts say puts children at risk.
In March, the U.S. Attorney General’s bipartisan body launched an investigation into alleged harm to TikTok by minors, and according to the Financial Times, the Department of Homeland Security is investigating a site that handles child sexual abuse materials.
A spokesman for TikTok told the Associated Press that “we appreciate the public prosecutors’ focus on the protection of younger users,” but that TikTok was unaware of the homeland security investigation.
The ministry did not respond to a number of requests for comment from Forbes.
Experts point out to the press that the controversial federal law, known as “Section 230 of the Communications Code of Conduct”, is a controversial federal law that protects Internet companies from the legal responsibility for hosting and modifying the content that users post on their sites. From its responsibility for the activities that take place via “Dictoc Live”.
“If there is content that shows child exploitation or sexual abduction on a live broadcast, the federal rules apply, regardless of section 230,” said Jeff Kozef, a professor of cyber security law at the U.S. Navy Academy. TikTok Live does not follow these things. . “
“The fundamental problem with Section 230 is that it helps to escape from social media sites from the same damages that lead to a lawsuit against a real company because it only happens online,” said former federal prosecutor Mary Grove Leary.
“It’s a digital platform. In a way we handle it differently, but the paradox is that the damage is not the same, it’s worse.”
Legal experts confirm to Forbes that such actions, witnessed by the app’s live broadcast service, can help sex offenders achieve their goals online or in the real world and even in sexual threats. Bedrooms and Bathrooms. , Live broadcasts are often played.
John Sheehan, vice president of the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says he advises authorities and technology companies on suspected online child sexual abuse, “that’s how things start.”
He explains that the link created by the “Dictoc Live” service is a way for “hunters” to check boundaries and build relationships with potential targets over time.
Attractive digital gifts
Dictoc users will spend more than $ 2 billion on usage in 2021, up $ 1 billion from the previous year, according to data analytics firm Censor Tower.
TikTok declined to comment on how much was spent on the site.
The magazine mentions a case where a user of “Ella” started cutting his jacket in front of about 3,000 spectators, carrying scissors, without revealing his face in a live broadcast video.
Some comments, according to the newspaper, cut off parts of the jacket near her belly, gradually revealing her bra, to show comments such as “further cut” or “you’ll see what you cover”, another user said “Tell me where I can meet you to give you the attention I want.” You look for it. ”
Although not all live broadcasts mention his age, commentators have speculated that he may be between 12 and 18 years old. Some mocked how young she was and that she was two years old.
“Tick Tock” confirms that they are trying to avoid the hassle of verifying the age of users, even if they are already old enough to use the app’s features or receive certain features such as digital gifts.
The 17-year-old Madison tells the magazine that some of her friends on the live streaming service TikTok earn $ 200 a week in digital gifts.
And since he joined the application in memory of his real life, Madison could not receive digital gifts through the live broadcast feature, but this did not forgive him from some offensive comments.
One user paid $ 400 to his girlfriend to take off his jacket, while another asked him to show part of Madison’s body or stand in front of the camera, and he says some of his followers followed him in live videos. Instagram account, he linked to “Tick Tock” and they paid to talk to them.
She promises: “I’m a minor, and I do not enjoy talking to men in their forties with me this way.” It takes me a while to figure out what that is, but I feel like a woman is 13 years old. Old, she does not know what it means, then she will say ‘OK’.
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