Nine more sleeps… until TikTok’s policy staff wake up on Christmas morning in a panic about what latest bad news might have broken overnight. TikTok’s just-published 2023 Trend report includes “making space for joy” as one of its predictions, but the end of 2022 is bringing little joy for the company around the twin challenges of security and safety.

Today’s security story is the US Senate unanimously approving the ‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act’, which would ban the app from any devices issued by the government or its corporations. The act still requires approval by the House of Representatives and President Biden however.

Meanwhile, the latest safety headache for TikTok is a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) called ‘Deadly by Design’. It’s based on setting up accounts posing as 13 year-olds in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, and recording what videos were served up in their ‘For You’ feeds. “Numerous videos promoting potentially dangerous content about mental health, disordered eating, or self-harm,” according to the CCDH, whose study also examined whether this content increased if the users paused on and liked these videos.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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