Tuesday, May 28, 2024


“Populists see the supposedly secret deals that run the world ‘behind the scenes.’ Child’s play. Except childhood is bad for adults,” says British-American author Christopher Eric Hitchens.

Author: Katerina Topallova

The tragedy in neighboring Serbia, when a student killed several classmates in the center of Belgrade, shocked the authorities. Just a few days after the mass shooting at the “Vladislav Ribnikar” elementary school in Belgrade, announcements about the regulation and even the banning of the popular video-sharing social network – TikTok – spread in Macedonian opinion. The debates have been opened, but the state institutions have not yet taken a final consensual position on this issue, despite the positions of the officials.

But how effective could such a ban really be in 2023?

What is TikTok?

The social network TikTok counts more than one billion users and it is assumed that the popularity will increase rapidly in the coming period as well. Thanks to its format and content, this social network flourished during 2019.

The social network TikTok originated in China and was created in September 2016. TikTok gives users the ability to create, share and watch short videos, usually 15 seconds long, but with the ability to merge videos up to 60 seconds. It was originally created with the idea of ​​creating short lip-sync videos, comedy clips and various talent shows. So, TikTok’s content focus is on sharing short video clips that are mostly entertaining and make users laugh. A number of memes and songs have become popular because of the TikTok network.

Can Tik Tok be useful in journalism?

Many questions are asked whether this social network can be used for journalism. The answer probably lies behind the logic of the fact that every network has used it and will definitely use it for the development of journalism in the future. With this in mind, the Washington Post in 2019 already saw the potential to reach new audiences through the TikTok network and currently has 370,400 fans.

It is interesting that among the American media there are already young employees who would actually contribute to the creation of the contents of the TikTok network.

NBC News has more than 118,000 followers and growing every day. MTV, Vice, BBC Radio 1, Guardian Australia, Vogue Italia, USA Today and many others see the potential of the TikTok network and are already working on building their profiles.

All these media outlets are testing different approaches to shooting video news, from very simple and entertaining to serious topics such as politics and the US presidential election. They use those tools used by teenagers who are the most frequent users of this network. They use effects, memes, music, voice change and dance.

Currently, when it comes to media houses on the TikTok network, it’s all about profile creation, experimentation and connecting with users. It’s all about analyzing Gen Z and what would be the best, most creative way to create news through short video clips to reach this audience.

In the world, for security reasons, globally 16 countries have banned TikTok.

Root cutting

With the eventual ban of TikTok, will the wet also burn in the middle of the dry?

Ex ante censorship is unconstitutional in our country. Such action will set a precedent. In fact, banning TikTok does not guarantee that someone else, for whatever reason, will not seek to ban other social networks or platforms, to be prohibited from controlling access to the Internet or other media? All this can be requested on the grounds that it considers the content to be harmful, offensive and unacceptable.

The eventual removal of TikTok will do nothing but force users to switch to other platforms or use a VPN to use the platform again.

But the possible ban of TikTok will be nothing more than a populist measure with almost no effect.

You cannot give your child the latest model of computer and phone and stop all applications. The system’s inability to keep up with rapid digitization cannot be prevented by such restrictions. Parents, the educational system and the state should work on digital and media education, give children and themselves materials about the possibilities that these tools and applications offer to improve life and creativity, otherwise buy them the latest model of phone and not explaining to them what it should be used with is the equivalent of buying a gun, putting it in your hand and being silent!

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