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TikTok: Bullying and Defamation

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 121928, tabled on 9 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the use of Tik Tok by pupils in schools to (a) cyberbully and (b) defame (i) other pupils and (ii) teachers.

Answered on

22 February 2022

The Government recognises the serious risks that pupils and teachers face online. The Department for Education’s COVID-19 Parent and Pupil Panel Survey, published in October 2021, found that 6% of pupils in years 6-13 reported that they had experienced online bullying in the 12 months up to July 2021. Furthermore, Ofcom’s Internet Users’ Experience of Potential Online Harms Survey conducted in early 2020 found that 1% of children aged 12-15 who had experienced bullying, abusive behaviour and threats cited TikTok as the platform on which this occurred.

The Government is also deeply concerned by reports related to the abuse of teachers on TikTok. The upcoming Online Safety Bill will ensure that online platforms, including TikTok, do much more to protect their users, including from online bullying and abuse. The strongest protections in the legislation are for children.

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