Paedophiles ‘hunting’ children through TikTok app as disturbing messages revealed

An app for teens to share fun videos has become such a “hunting ground” for paedophiles that schools have issued alerts directly to parents. The Mirror online reports.

TikTok – one of the world’s most downloaded apps – is exposing ­children as young as five to leering sex pests, cruel taunts and the glorifying of anorexia and self-harm.

One school head even warned: “There has been suspicion the app is being used to stalk teenage girls.”

The app is a huge hit with under-16s, and head teachers from dozens of schools – including early years primaries – have sent letters to thousands of parents across the UK.

Our reporting team spent this week investigating the app, which kids on half-term would have been using.

One video showed a teenage girl dancing while other users ogling her urged: “Take off your clothes.”

Another innocent video featuring a girl of 15 drew a string of crude comments from men about sex acts.

Others show teens in school uni­­form being punched in the head and users glorifying eating disorders. One disturbing clip showed a teenage boy exposing his skeletal ribs. He tagged his post “#thinspo”, for “thin inspiration” – used to seek approval for body image issues.

One primary school in Cornwall said: “Parents of children in Year 3 to Year 6 have been horrified by what children are exposed to.”

Parents in Hounslow, London, were alerted to the hashtag #tradefortrade, a sign of wanting to trade illicit content.

One North Yorkshire school advised: “If the profile is open, strangers can comment on your child’s videos.

“While this isn’t always sinister, it lets potential predators contact your child.”

In Stockport, Gtr Man­­chester, parents were alerted to the #takeitoff challenge, in which young girls are urged to video themselves removing their school shirts.

 
Has your school advised parents? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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