It seems like the red flags for Chinese-developed app TikTok keep on piling up. After warnings from cybersecurity experts about the risks to data privacy and the internet security of the app’s users, TikTok is now eventually becoming a hub for soft porn.

TikTok rose as one of the most-downloaded and most-used social media applications globally, particularly in the Philippines, due to its nature as a video-sharing platform. Users are enticed to utilize different filters on easily-edited videos. Some are even introducing TikTok challenges in the form of dance covers, which mostly have sexually suggestive content. (Not to mention the fact that people have a lot of time on their hands because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

This imposes a concern, especially that most users of TikTok are children under 18 years old. Upon registering an account on the app, it’s indicated that a user must be over 13 years of age to be allowed to use TikTok. Still, with the lack of verification process, even users as young as eight years old are exposed to pedophiles and sexual predators lurking within the app.

In a series exposing the downside of the app, The Sun UK revealed that among the alarming videos participated by minors on TikTok include 12-year-old girls dancing to sexually explicit songs and a teenager offering a sex act to boys in her contacts. TikTok has also long been bombarded with videos that joke about child abuse, illegal drugs, and violence.

Before this, TikTok has become a hot topic in the tech scene as cybersecurity experts revealed that hackers could easily manipulate content, upload and delete videos, and expose sensitive information such as users’ private email addresses.

Several reports have also revealed that TikTok is sending information of users to Chinese databases without consent.

Here in the Philippines, the government appears to be not concerned over the app’s privacy, and security issues as even agencies like the Department of Health and the Department of Tourism are utilizing the platform for their promotional materials.

Currently, TikTok has over 2 billion downloads worldwide and has around 800 million active users. Locally, it’s among the top 10 apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.