Families in Syrian refugee camps are begging for money on TikTok
According to an investigation conducted by the BBC, TikTok is being used by displaced families in Syrian camps to appeal for donations. However, the company retains up to 70% of the funds donated to its platform. On the social networking platform, young people will spend hours live streaming in the hopes of gaining access to digital products that have a monetary value. According to research done by the BBC, the people living in the camps only got a small amount of the money that the streams made, which could be as much as $1,000 (or 900 pounds) every hour.
TikTok has pledged to take prompt action to put an end to “exploitative begging.” The company stated that it did not allow this kind of content on its platform and that its commission on digital gifts was significantly smaller than 70%. In addition, the company stated that they did not enable any advertising on their site. Despite this, it made the decision not to confirm the exact total. Users’ feeds were flooded with a video that appeared to show a family living in a refugee camp in Syria. The video received praise from some viewers, while others questioned whether it was authentic.
The BBC found that “TikTok middlemen” were responsible for facilitating the trend in the refugee camps located in the northwestern part of Syria. These “TikTok middlemen” provided families with the phones and equipment necessary to broadcast live. The intermediaries made the allegation that they had connections to TikTok-related organizations in China and the Middle East, and that these organizations granted the families access to their TikTok accounts. These organizations are a part of the global recruitment campaign for live streamers that TikTok is running in an effort to boost the number of people using their app.