Q: Why is there concern about TikTok's influence on young people?

A: The 6th largest social network in the world, the one with the strongest growth among young people, is regularly accused of hosting numerous disinformation videos, dangerous challenges and violent and sexual content without the Internet user having requested them.

"Momo Challenge", which pushes children to violent actions, "Blackout Challenge" which consists of holding your breath until you faint...

With the current fashionable challenge, explained by many tutorials on TikTok, college students pinch their cheeks very hard to create a fake scar, a dangerous practice according to doctors.

With the keyword #Ozempic, an antidiabetic is promoted by Internet users on the social network for its slimming properties, causing supply tensions and concerns among doctors.

46% of 11-14 year olds consider that TikTok "promotes reliable resources", according to a study by the Reboot Foundation conducted with Ifop, cited Wednesday by Le Figaro.

With more than a billion active users worldwide, the Chinese network is also implicated for its "addictive" content, an uninterrupted scrolling of videos offered by algorithms that analyze their tastes.

Minors spent an average of 1h47 per day on TikTok in 2022, according to a recent global study by Qustodio.

TikTok is also the app on which Internet users spent the most time in 2022.

TikTok announced Wednesday to set up in a few weeks, by default, a warning after 60 minutes of use for minors.

They will need to enter a password to continue viewing the site.

However, like on other websites, young people can always disable the feature or lie about their age.

"This proposal is a step in the right direction, but does not address all of our concerns, particularly with regard to the protection of user data and the content of content accessible to our children," reacted to AFP. Secretary of State for Children Charlotte Caubel.

Q: What concerns exist regarding data security?

A: Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny from Westerners who fear Beijing could access user data around the world, something TikTok has denied for years.

A law ratified a few weeks ago by US President Joe Biden prohibits the use of this application in Congress, as well as on the devices of civil servants.

"TikTok is a modern Chinese Communist Party Trojan used to monitor Americans and exploit their personal information," said Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The European Commission, the European Parliament and other governments, including Canadian and Danish, have banned their staff from using TikTok.

France announced Wednesday to think about it.

Q: What initiatives are underway to better protect minors on the internet?

A: Several bills aimed at better protecting young people on the Internet, which have the support of the government, will be discussed in the National Assembly in the coming days.

Thursday the assembly will examine a bill which wants to set the "numerical majority" at 15 years and oblige minors below this age to obtain authorization from their parents to register on social networks.

On Monday, the Assembly will consider two bills to strengthen children's image rights for one and "protect children from excessive exposure to screens" for the other.

Finally, the government intends to make effective the ban on access by minors to pornographic sites.

He will launch an experiment on a system called "double anonymity", to reconcile the protection of minors and the protection of the privacy of porn use.

© 2023 AFP