The Dangerous Most-Visited Website of 2021
What is the most popular website on Earth? TikTok. The site has more than 1 billion monthly users and was the most popular web domain of 2021, according to Cloudflare. It passed Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google—in just one year.
Most likely, you or someone you know uses TikTok. Its quick, three-minute-or-less videos and entertainment-driven content make it easy to use, addictive, and a convenient escape from everyday life. But TikTok has a strong undercurrent of darkness that is pulling our children and our society into the depths.
TikTok is owned by Beijing company ByteDance Ltd. The app goes by the name Douyin in China. Currently, ByteDance Ltd. is the largest private technology company in the world. In August 2021, the Chinese government appointed a director to one of the company’s domestic boards. “The video and news giant in April sold a 1 percent stake in Beijing ByteDance to three entities, including one controlled by the country’s Internet overseer, and gave the government a board seat, according to a person familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg wrote.
Michael Norris, a consultant at AgencyChina, said: “It reignites debate in overseas markets as to whether TikTok could be a vehicle for state influence.” It is very concerning that the largest tech company in the world and the largest, most influential social media company in the world are being influenced by the Communist Chinese government. This raises concerns not only about the security of private data shared with TikTok, but also the secret algorithm being used by the app. Even the Chinese government has limited youth ages 14 and younger to only 40 minutes a day on the app. Why would the Chinese government, who has a financial stake in the app, limit its use for its own youth if they didn’t recognize the calamitous consequences it can have?
First of all, TikTok is remarkably capable of consuming your time. Of its 1 billion monthly users, 90 percent access it daily, spending an average of 52 minutes on the app. Around 100 million Americans use TikTok, which is over 30 percent of Americans who have access to mobile Internet. In just one month, March 2020, Americans over 18 years old spent 1.43 billion hours on TikTok.
Teenagers and young adults are the primary consumers of the content on the app. One quarter of all TikTok users in the U.S. are between 10 and 19 years old; 22.4 percent of users are between ages 19 and 29. Sixty percent of the users are female, 40 percent are male. The average American will open the TikTok app eight times per day.
The content filling the minds of users can be classified as trivial drivel. The top three categories are entertainment (535 billion views), dance (181 billion views) and pranks (79 billion views). Sports/fitness and diy/home renovation round out the top five. The most followed person on TikTok is Charli d’Amelio, a dancer and influencer, with 125.6 million followers; second is Khabane Lame, who mocks other TikTok videos, at 115 million followers; and Addison Rae, a model, is third with 84.8 million followers. Rae is also the top earner from TikTok, making $5 million per year. To get followers on TikTok you need to be a musician, a comedian, or, apparently, scantily clothed.
What makes TikTok so popular? Forbes called TikTok “digital crack cocaine.” TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all designed with the same principles that make gambling addictive. “When you’re scrolling … sometimes you see a photo or something that’s delightful and it catches your attention,” Dr. Julie Albright, professor at the University of Southern California, said. “And you get that little dopamine hit in the brain … in the pleasure center of the brain. So you want to keep scrolling.” Probably everyone has entered the “dopamine state” at some point—endlessly scrolling through videos, as your brain constantly searches for another hit.
“In psychological terms, [it’s] called random reinforcement,” Albright continued. “It means sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And that’s how these platforms are designed …. [T]hey’re exactly like a slot machine.” TikTok and other social media platforms are not designed to keep your loyalty because they expand your thinking or improve your life, but they exist because they act as a drug to the brain. That business model is not good for your health, but it is very successful.
Albright even mentions that newborns are starting their lives in bassinets with built-in iPads above their heads, getting them immediately addicted to screen time. Most TikTok users are youths and teens who do not have self-discipline and easily fall victim to the addictive nature of social media. Even adults can fall into the same trap. Sites like TikTok erode any self-control and character an adult might have.
Not only does TikTok consume your time, it also creates shallow thinking. Screens and media were already causing this issue, but the sheer success of TikTok is expediting the problem. The lack of attention span, the obsession with unimportant content, and the amount of serious thinking “TikTok time” is displacing, is a danger to our families and nation. A generation of children are growing up without developing any important thinking patterns. Can future challenges be met by leaders whose minds were shaped by 15-second videos?
One of the most prevalent problems on TikTok is the sexualization of women and minors. Emily Schrader wrote in the Jerusalem Post: “Just a cursory scroll through TikTok will show the alarming trends that are showing no sign of stopping. Challenge after challenge features sexualized dance moves. Videos of underage girls talking about their sexual experiences, dressing (and undressing) erotically to get ‘likes.’ The app is literally a pedophile’s dream, and these young girls have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.” Even with parental controls, most videos can be seen by millions of people. It is also teaching young men that the sexualization of women is normal.
“This year, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation listed TikTok on its 2020 ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of companies facilitating sexual exploitation,” continued Schrader, “Indeed, numerous reports indicate TikTok has struggled with problems of strangers asking underage girls for nude photos, and upon receipt, demanding more photos in what’s been called ‘sextortion.’” TikTok can be a serious threat to our families. How well are parents monitoring their kids’ use of the app? This reveals a national collapse of parental authority and responsibility.
“[T]he larger problem is not necessarily the cases in which children are being extorted, but in a culture that teaches 11-year-old girls that … gyrating for the camera in their underwear in a dance initially performed by a grown woman is somehow sexy,” Schrader added. These teenagers are copying what they see degenerate, perverted adults do on the app in an attempt to gain approval and likes.
A Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that the TikTok algorithm is deliberately pushing this content at our children, “promoting sexual content, drugs and alcohol to children as young as 13,” the Daily Mail wrote. The investigation used automated bots set to accounts for 13 to 15 year olds. “One of the accounts,” the report continued, “claiming to belong to a 13-year-old, was shown 569 videos about drug use, including references to cocaine and meth addiction, as well as promotional videos for the online sales of drug products.” The youth bot accounts were shown over 100 videos promoting pornography sites, 1,000 videos showing drugs, porn, and other adult content, and even a dozen videos “showing adults entering relationships with people calling themselves ‘littles’—legal age adults pretending to be children.”
Do you know what your child is watching on TikTok?
Two other Wall Street Journal investigations found that TikTok was recommending videos to young girls that promoted eating disorders, including one called the “corpse bride diet.” There is also an endless amount of “self-diagnosing” videos that are causing teens to think they have mental disorders. Several people claiming to be therapists or experts are telling teens to determine for themselves if they have a personality disorder or are bipolar. “When teens watch TikTok videos and decide they have a mental-health affliction—even if they’re really only suffering from adolescence—it can pose a treatment challenge and cause frayed family relationships,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.
TikTok is promoting content that is twisting and perverting the minds of our young people. But it gets even worse.
The American Conservative published an article exposing preschool and elementary teachers as lgbtq groomers. Many of them publish videos on TikTok promoting and bragging about what they are teaching kids. (If you can stomach it, you can watch the examples here.) This radical gender indoctrination is not only being promoted in classrooms but is being aided by TikTok.
“TikTok signed a partnership earlier this year with Stonewall, the controversial lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, to promote this material,” the American Conservative reported. The platform is actively pushing this content to your child.
The Daily Mail analysis revealed that videos with the hashtag “#Trans” have over 26 billion views. Some transgender influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers and discuss and document reassignment surgery. Kate Harris from the lgb Alliance said: “What these videos would lead a generation of children to believe is that it is easy to change sex and that it is the answer to all of your problems.” Harris said the message is often “don’t involve your parents.” Gender dysphoria in youth has increased in league with the increase in transgender content on TikTok. This social media giant is complicit in the agenda to destroy our children with this radical poison.
However, this article covers just some of the content that might be seen on TikTok. Candie Frazier has filed a lawsuit against TikTok for not safeguarding the mental health of the moderators, reviewing flagged content. The moderators had to watch from three to 10 videos at a time to keep up with the demand. According to the Verge, Frazier said she witnessed “thousands of acts of extreme and graphic violence,” including mass shootings, child rape, animal mutilation, cannibalism, gang murder and genocide.” How many of these videos make it past the gatekeepers?
It is pretty clear that TikTok presents a clear and present danger to your children and family. This is a frightening indictment of our nation and families. In reality, this is just another tool in the scheme of Satan the devil to attack biblical morality and family.
Can you as an individual, and as a family, stand against the TikTok juggernaut? Can you resist the peer pressure, the downward gravity of human nature, and the broadcast of Satan? It takes courage to confront evil, and it takes doing it God’s way. We have two booklets that can help you. Please read Child Rearing With Vision and Biblical Manhood.
Correction: An earlier version of the article stated that “Around 100 million Americans use TikTok, which is over 18 percent of Americans who have access to mobile Internet.” In fact, the correct figure is closer to 37 percent. The article has been amended and the Trumpet regrets the error.