Parents warned predators are using new app TikTok to groom kids

21 February 2019, 12:37 | Updated: 21 February 2019, 13:34

Children as young as 8 are reportedly being targeted through TikTok
Children as young as 8 are reportedly being targeted through TikTok. Picture: Getty

An investigation has found that kids as young as eight are being targeted via the app.

A new investigation has found that sexual predators are using popular social media app TikTok to target young kids.

The app is relatively new in comparison to other social media sites but is growing in popularity and now has more users than Snapchat.

Read more: Parents warned of dangerous choking game taking over school playgrounds

When signed up to the platform users can post videos of themselves which are broadcast to other users who can message them directly.

TikTok is a video sharing social media app
TikTok is a video sharing social media app. Picture: App Store

Within minutes of investigators from The Sun logging in to the app, they found disturbing messages being posted under videos of young school children.

One parent told the publication that he was shocked by what he found when he used his 10-year-old son's account.

He said: “His phone kept flashing up like someone had messaged. I kept seeing this same man’s name coming up.

“The messages he received said ‘hello are you there?’, ‘stop f***ing ignoring me’, then he said ‘I will find you’, ‘where are you?’ He was sending these messages to a ten-year-old. Denver was terrified.

“The person had a picture. I didn’t report it to police because I deleted the app, I wish I had told the police but I was keen to just get rid of it.

“I went on to my son’s phone to look at what had been sent and I looked at the content.

“He’s only ten…there must be a way for them to get parents’ permission to get on it. But there’s no way of them verifying their age.

TikTok is rapidly growing in popularity
TikTok is rapidly growing in popularity. Picture: App Store

“I had to tell him that not everyone in the world is nice and people do use these sites to send horrible messages and threaten people and stuff."

The revelations about the app will come as a concern for parents whose kids have been using the social media site ranked as 7th in the Apple charts ahead of Netflix, Snapchat and Spotify.