How dangerous is TikTok really?

11 months ago
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Influence of TikTok goes far beyond the social sphere. The application is increasingly being used for the types of internet searches that a web search engine would normally be used for. A video-based social app might not seem like the best place to find answers to burning questions, but many users have chosen it to find bars and restaurants to visit, movies to watch, or clothes to wear. This is a trend that companies like Google are very worried about. The app’s popularity has also irritated US lawmakers, who have cited concerns about the app’s security and even passed legislation calling for a total ban on TikTok at the national level.

This week at the Gadget Lab, WIRED’s Lily Hay Newman joins us to discuss why all kids use TikTok to search and find out if owning a Chinese firm’s app really makes it a national security threat.

Show notes

Read Lauren’s story about how she used TikTok for a week to search. Here’s Lily on TikTok’s security threats. Follow all WIRED reporting on TikTok.

Recommendations

Lily recommends a collection of essays “You are not expected to do this”: how 26 lines of code changed the worldEdited by Tori Bosch. Lauren recommends a book I’m glad my mom died Jennette McCurdy. Mike recommends classic seasons of the show Doctor Whowhat can you find on Britbox.

Lily Newman can be found on Twitter @lilihnewman. Lauren Goode @LaurenGood. Michael Kalore @snack. Bling main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is being produced by Boone Ashworth (@Bunashworth). Our theme music is written solar keys.

How to listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to receive all episodes, here’s how:

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, open the Podcasts app, or simply tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts and search for Gadget Lab. If you’re on Android, you can find us on the Google Podcasts app by simply clicking clicking here. Were on Spotify too much. And if you really need it, here is the RSS feed.

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