Report: TikTok Profiting from Exploitive Live Streams

Photo: BBC

The Facts

  • A BBC investigation released Tuesday alleges that the social media platform TikTok has been profiting from live streams in which Syrian refugees urgently beg for cash gifts from viewers.

  • The children reportedly stream for hours pleading for digital gifts with cash value - sometimes making up to $1K per hour. The investigation found that TikTok is allegedly taking up to 70% of the proceeds.


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Solicitation live streams like these are against TikTok's rules for good reason. Many of them, whether they're real or not, are exploiting children who don't benefit from their videos. Users should be cautious; there are exploitive grifters online no matter how hard social media platforms work to curb them.

Establishment-critical narrative

Though TikTok claims to be cracking down on these live streams and saying they're against the company's terms and conditions, many videos are shamefully still online. If TikTok was truly against these exploitive stunts, it would have simply shut them down earlier rather than take a cut for itself.


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