University of Oulu

Young children on TikTok : an interview study of Finnish parents

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Author: Rinnasto, Iida1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Pages: 58
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : I. Rinnasto, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-15
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Iivari, Netta
Reviewer: Hartikainen, Heidi
Iivari, Netta


Social media has been in an era of change since TikTok has entered the market with its virality. TikTok is most popular among younger children aged between eight and twelve years old, the platform has gathered attention of many. Both research and media have shown their interest around the topic. Research has publications from multiple different disciplines ranging from medical publications to studies done in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). This study investigates what possible threats TikTok can bring to children and what is the parents’ role in addressing these threats. By identifying these threats can they be lessened and discussed to promote healthy social media use among children. A semi-structured interview was conducted with five Finnish parents to find out what the parents are doing to guard their children from TikTok’s threats and what threats have the parents found to come true regarding their children and TikTok use. The results indicate that parents believe TikTok is prone to promote addiction and eating disorders. Stranger danger, cyberbullying, harmful content, anti-privacy advice, unhealthy marketing, hate speech and misinformation are also possible threats of TikTok use for children. The possible negative effects of TikTok for children are varying and parents have a leading role in moderating social media use of children. Communicating and educating the children is to be highlighted and parents need to model a healthy relationship with social media for children. Future research should further investigate how addiction can influence children who use TikTok. Also, the technical solutions to protects children from threats on TikTok is a worthy research area for future.

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Copyright information: © Iida Rinnasto, 2023. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.