The fictionalized ad features a young girl filming a dance video on the app. She then receives a message from an adult man telling her, “send me another video…just for me.”
The PSA then shows the young girl walking into her room, locking her door, and dropping her dress as she begins to film.
“With 1 in 5 children being sexually solicited online it’s more important than ever we bring awareness to these very real dangers,” said Sen. Lauren Book, founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids.
“Those who seek to abuse and exploit children online frequent the very same apps, games and social media sites as their intended victims. It is critical for parents to be educated about these dangers, and what they can do to reduce the risk to their child.”
TikTok has been under scrutiny in recent weeks due to security concerns. U.S. Sen. Rick Scott has pushed for a ban on the app, which is owned by a China-based company.
Lauren’s Kids is a foundation offering aid to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Book herself is a survivor.
The organization has pushed to educate parents about potential threats for their children before. During the coronavirus outbreak, the group provided resources from parents looking to protect their children as students moved to online learning.
“The reality is that 95% of sexual abuse is preventable through education and awareness,” Book argued.
“Parents may think their children are safer at home during the pandemic, but child predators are smart. They know how to gain trust and then exploit it. It is important to have loving conversations about safety, both online and in person, and to make sure your child knows they can always come to you for help – no matter the situation.”