Social media platforms have become an important part of our lives because they allow us to communicate, share information, learn, have fun, advertise, and connect with people all over the world.
According to official statistics for January 2022, 4.62 billion people around the world now use social media, accounting for 58.4% of the total world population. Figures from statistics show that Nigeria has 32.90 million active social media users as of January 2022, with Whatsapp being the platform with the most active users, followed by Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Tiktok, a micro-video sharing social media platform where users can create short, usually funny, videos and share them with a broader community of individuals on the same platform and beyond, is gradually gaining traction among young Nigerians. These folks take part in viral challenges; they churn out funny and interesting videos such as short comedy skits and dance moves. They can advertise their businesses on the site, as well as share useful information with other users.
But unfortunately, most young Nigerians, especially females, have converted Tiktok into a platform for sharing nude photos and videos. This explicit content is shared for the purpose of gaining more followers and likes. Some also charge money for them.
Although TikTok’s nudity community guidelines state that content that is overly revealing of breasts, genitals, anus, or buttocks will not be permitted on its platform, users have been able to post explicit content using hashtags such as “#fakebody,” along with a yellow warning emoji. According to users, the phrase stops nude videos from being removed for violating the app’s guidelines. TikTok’s superior editing tools have also made the production of such explicit videos much easier. TikTok, for example, makes it easy for people to quickly change clothes or go from fully clothed to naked. This feature has become very popular with those who use it.
If not stopped, this heinous trend will have a negative impact on our children’s moral development.A sizeable number of them, most of whom are in their teens, have become addicted to nudity and pornography as a result of Tiktok. They want to emulate what they see other young girls do on the platform, so they end up becoming porn stars even without knowing it.
Youths that engage in posting nudity expose themselves to prostitution, sexual assault, rape, drug abuse, unwanted pregnancy, kidnapping, and ritual killing, amongst others. Their educational goals and dreams of being useful members of society may also be harmed.
Parents must guide their kids from an early age on how to use social media platforms. They should have conversations with their children about why some things should be kept private.Parents should make sure that their children feel they can reach out to them for help when they run into unpleasant online experiences. Research has found that some children are afraid to talk to their parents when they face problems while using Tiktok and other social media platforms. They worry that parents may overreact or take away their devices.
Making sure that your child knows that they can reach out for help and that you will try your best to understand their needs can make them less vulnerable to peer pressure online. If your child does disclose a particular online problem, a good way to respond is to simply ask your child how the problem makes them feel.
Parents can also set their children’s Tiktok accounts to private. This can help protect them. With a private account, only people you approve can follow, comment on, and like their videos. If you do decide to have a public account, you can disable “Allow others to find me” and control who can comment on their videos, react to them, send them messages, and view videos that they liked.
Also, educators and other stakeholders should run campaigns in schools, places of worship, and community centers to create awareness of the responsible use of digital platforms. There are also security apps that can be used to look for suspicious photos and alert parents if their kids get them.
Tiktok and other social media platforms need to improve their community rules against nudity and pornography in order to keep the social media world a safe place.