THERE is more trouble ahead for the ByteDance social media platform TikTok, after reports that teenage girls are abusing the platform’s weak regulations to sell compromising photos for as low as RM4.90.
Last week, Communication and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil added pressure on TikTok, saying the platform’s efforts to reduce the spread of fake news in Malaysia have been woefully inadequate.He added that the Chinese-owned online platform has not abided by the country’s laws, though he did not specify which laws. After Indonesia banned the TikTok shop this month, Fahmi also reportedly said Malaysia will study why Indonesia banned the e-commerce segment of TikTok. “In the discussion (with ByteDance executives), I emphasised that TikTok needs to operate by Malaysian guidelines and laws. I emphasise that TikTok’s compliance with Malaysian laws is still not satisfactory, and this must be corrected immediately,” Fahmi wrote in a Facebook post. “TikTok must also be more proactive in controlling the spread of fake news and slanderous materials spread on the platforms in question.” The minister pointed out that TikTok acknowledged its shortcomings and attributed them to the absence of a Malaysian representative. Now that reports of teenage girls, including school students as young as 14 years old selling compromising photos or videos through TikTok are true, the arguments to tighten TikTok’s reach in Malaysia may get more support. In a media report today, it is said that those wearing the school uniform performed various exciting stunts such as flipping clothes and showing their body parts and hips, to attract TikTok users to buy the content. The report also says a girl who wants to be known as Ain, 16, admitted to selling 15 sexy pictures of her wearing a school uniform. – Oct 15, 2023
Main photo credit: Bernama