CT AG calls on TikTok leadership to better monitor platform – NBC Connecticut


TikTok has come under fire for viral challenges that encourage users to engage in destructive behaviors, like vandalizing school bathrooms or hitting teachers.

Now Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is calling on TikTok executives to come to Connecticut to see the results firsthand. He sat down with Dan Corcoran of NBC Connecticut to discuss the matter.

Dan: “So first of all, why send this letter?

Clamp: “You know, it’s very scary and very dangerous. TikTok started off with funny dances, it’s not funny anymore. The sneaky lick movement on TikTok, whatever you call it, meme or video or something that prompts people to do something that’s done a lot of damage across the country, including New Britain High School, and the school’s temporary closure. And now there’s this thing called slap a teacher, who encourages kids to go around and hit their teachers. Very dangerous, very scary, and we have to act now. “

Dan: “So, is TikTok management really responsible for the content its users post? “

Clamp: “I believe they’re, I mean, they’re running these big, big money-making companies. We heard about that last night on 60 minutes how Facebook makes money from extreme, anti-vaccination, anti-science, you know, news, misinformation, and misinformation news, that drives people to Facebook and other social media sites. This is how social networks work. It draws your attention through things that people want to see often and that encourage dangerous or bad behavior. Things that maybe start out as funny and quickly escalate into something very dangerous. And I think TikTok should take responsibility for what happens on their platform.

Dan: “Let’s talk about this balance of responsibilities. Is it more about the platform itself, or the parents of the teens who post these kinds of videos?”

Clamp: “But we all bear the blame for it, but as a dad of teenagers, a 15 year old, 13 year old, and 10 year old, you know there’s not much parents can do with it these days. proliferation of devices and platforms, these social media platforms reinforce these bad posts, these bad images, and I think they have some responsibility for the safety of our children because they are everywhere. is how they make money. It’s their ubiquity, the fact that everyone uses them. It makes them so powerful, so profitable and so dangerous. “

Dan: “OK, so if TikTok accepts your offer to have their leadership team speak with your team, what do you want this company to take away from this conversation and hopefully change?” “

Clamp: “I want to guarantee that they will take the strongest possible action to protect our children here in Connecticut, and I will not stop until I understand it.”

TikTok did not have a specific response to Tong’s letter on Monday evening, but they have posted the following comments on the sneaky lick challenge.

“We do not allow content that encourages or allows criminal activity. We remove such content and redirect hashtags and search results to our Community Guidelines to discourage such behavior.”

A spokesperson also responded to news about the slapping challenge.

“This so-called ‘challenge’ is not a trend on TikTok, but we would remove videos promoting such behavior if they were posted. We expect teens to be courteous, to be polite. online or offline, and we’re committed to supporting messages about being good digital stewards. ”

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