This account is one of dozens of automated or robot accounts created by The Wall Street Journal to understand what TikTok shows to young users. These bot accounts are registered as users between 13 and 15 years old, and they can browse TikTok’s For You video stream at will. This highly personalized video stream is generated by an algorithm and the content is endless.
After analyzing the videos provided to these accounts, it is found that through powerful algorithms, TikTok can quickly bring minors into the bottomless pit of sex and drug content. Minors are one of the largest user groups of the app.
TikTok posted at least 569 videos about drug use to an account registered as a 13-year-old — involving cocaine and methamphetamine addiction, as well as promotional videos for online sales of drugs and paraphernalia. Hundreds of similar videos also appeared in the video streams of other underage accounts registered by The Wall Street Journal.
TikTok also showed more than 100 videos from paid pornographic websites and sex shop promotion accounts to the youth accounts registered by the Wall Street Journal. There are also thousands of pieces of content from creators who have marked their content as only adult viewing.