A pediatric clinician is sounding the alarm about the harms posed by TikTok to children.
Anthony Luczak, an advanced practice registered nurse in pediatric primary care and a developmental–behavioral specialist, said that based on his observations, the Chinese-owned social media app feeds young people’s addictions and fosters anxiety, depression, and harmful behaviors.
He said he’s aware that the United States views the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as “a foreign adversary intent on overtaking the U.S. as the global superpower.” After observing the relationship between children’s diverse mental health conditions and the content that was directly involved in harming many of his young patients, he has concluded that “TikTok behaves exactly like a psychological warfare tool intent on undermining the immediate and long-term psychological health of an enemy population.”
While there are valid security concerns regarding the CCP using the app to collect data, Luczak said, his concerns focus on the clinical impact of the social media app.
“Harmful content trends are nothing new to social media,” he told The Epoch Times. “But TikTok is different in that it seems to adapt its harmful content to each user. TikTok is actively trying to make each person using it into a worse version of themselves, and this is incredibly dangerous for children.
“TikTok seems to know which kids trend towards depression, anxiety, defiance, drug use, violence, criminal activities, or porn—and exploits those tendencies.”
Younger patients are more prone to harmful challenges than older, more mature patients, for example.
“I have noticed a lot of school expulsions and suspensions linked to TikTok,” Luczak said, explaining that the school expulsions are often associated with “dares” to destroy school property, hurt other students or teachers, or perform other threatening activities in school.