Urgent action needed to get video on TikTok: study

Urgent action needed to get video on TikTok: study


A group of researchers from Australia have called for urgent action to introduce age restrictions on TikTok videos in order to minimize the negative impact of such videos on teenagers.

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A group of researchers from Australia have called for urgent action to introduce age restrictions on TikTok videos in order to minimize the negative impact of such videos on teenagers.

University of Queensland researchers have analyzed that the e-cigarette-related content shared by multiple users on TikTok is very popular on the platform. However, these videos can have a negative impact on children under the legal age.

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A study published in Tobacco Control magazine found that by November 2020, 808 popular Ving videos had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times in total.

Almost a quarter of the people in the videos were under the age of 18. “The use of comedy, lifestyle testimonials, nicotine addiction testimonials, ving tricks, and tutorials can create social norms around the ving and increase its social acceptance,” the researchers said. “Given that Ving videos are widely available on TikTok, it is important to consider age restrictions to reduce teenage intake.”

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The positive use of e-cigarettes made up 63 percent of the total, according to the data, and was viewed more than 1.1 billion times, while the neutral representations made up almost 24 percent.

Since TikTok is a new and popular platform and the algorithm is designed to reach a wider audience, such Ving videos have a chance to spread faster on TikTok compared to other social media platforms.

“As they are a relatively new platform, they may also lack regulations for effective age restrictions,” said Tianze Sun, a PhD student at UQ and lead author of the study. “Given the accessibility of these videos to young people, we hope that our study can influence future regulatory frameworks for all social media platforms around mandating age verification measures, especially … for videos that are positive.”

This study comes against the background that there has been a significant increase in young people in recent years.

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