‘Kanye is right to want to keep his 8-year-old with Kim Kardashian off TikTok’
A war of words has broken out between Kim Kardashian and Kayne West over parenting preferences. Kim says TikTok brings North 'happiness' but we spoke to these mums who completely disagree.
The former couple took to social media to air their points in a public spate that entered around North Kardashian, their eight-year-old daughter.
Their argument comes just a month after Kanye stated in a podcast that he did not want North to appear on the social media platform, saying: ‘I’m not there to approve that.’
The ‘Kim and North’ page currently has over 6 million followers and features a number of videos starring North with appearances by Kim.
Kim has issued a statement outlining her reasons for allowing her underage daughter on the social media platform which you have to be 13 to access.
“As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision – because it brings her happiness.”
But parenting is about more than keeping your child happy. We spoke to some parents about the realities of allowing your underage children online.
“Almost every day I’m bombarded with complaints that she is the only child in the whole class who isn’t on TikTok” explains Marian. “My daughter guilts me by saying she can’t join in on dances the other girls are doing, or watch videos by certain influencers – who she’s only aware of due to sleepovers, playdates, and constant discussions at school.”
Which is the lesser of two evils – alienation or the perils of what children might be exposed to online?
For Ciara, a mum of two, her concerns centre around the vulnerability of children who are too young to understand the potential risks they have to be wary of.
“TikTok’s current recommendation for an account is 13-plus” the secondary school teacher tells us. “But there isn’t anything there to verify someone’s age when they sign up. My fear is that there is absolutely nothing stopping adults from pretending to be kids so that they can interact with them via the direct message or comments section of the app.”
But for the most part it is just harmless fun, right?
For Louise, the fact that you don’t need to have a TikTok account to view videos is what is mostly perplexing. “If she has an account and shares videos of herself, anyone can watch them. My husband and I also have concerns that my kids and any child can technically watch videos posted that could be violent or explicit. I think they are just too young to understand when something is inappropriate until it is too late.”
“There are also online challenges that can be harmful to children – games that can encourage children to carry out actions that are inappropriate.”
Emily from Cork has twin ten-year-old daughters who have amassed 3 thousand followers on TikTok for their lip-syncing and dancing routines. She supervises the account and says the benefits outweigh the negatives.
“I think there is danger in everything and I keep an eye on what’s going on so there is nothing inappropriate. I think we can all lose our heads over things like this but at the end of the day, if you leave them off, they are not going to have a clue what’s going on when other kids talk about it.”
Perhaps in the Kardashian West situation it is an entirely different beast. The idea that North is being exposed to 6 million people is another conversation about whether or not that is appropriate given her tender age. Perhaps this is something she’ll resent as she grows older and has more awareness.
Maybe her parents are better placed to see the pitfalls of fame. Or maybe they are too blinded by the spotlights to make a fair judgement.