1 in 5 TikTok videos show alcohol

Forget Instagram and SnapChat. TikTok has been making the hearts of our teens beat faster for a long time. Research recently conducted by Pointer – a journalistic research platform of the KRO-NCRV – shows that alcohol plays a role in 1 in 5 TikTok videos.

Journalistic research platform Pointer created a fictitious profile to watch TikTok videos as thirteen-year-old 'Noah'. And even though TikTok knows that she is dealing with a minor, 'Noah' is shown videos in which alcohol is toasted, drunk or where alcohol plays a role in some other way.


TikTok is an app where you can watch short edited (music) videos, which you can share, like or leave another comment on. The videos last 15 to 300 seconds. The app has more than 100 million users from all over the world, which accounts for more than 10 million videos every day. Children from the age of thirteen are officially allowed to 'on TikTok'. Still, an account with a made-up date of birth is made quick and easy.

Scrolling through alcohol posts for an hour

Pointer investigative journalists opened a TikTok account as a 13-year-old and scrolled through the social media platform for an hour. They entered searches like 'drink challenge' and 'mixing drinks' to feed TikTok's algorithm and were shown more than 200 videos involving booze in an hour.

Amendment of the Media Act?

Now you would think, don't we have a Media Act? Correct. Since 2009 it has been included in the Media Act that it is prohibited for Dutch broadcasters to broadcast alcohol advertising on television and radio between 06:00 and 21:00. This therefore applies to our Dutch broadcasters and not to social media. We can therefore say that the Media Act deserves an amendment here and there.

Tips for parents

We have a long way to go before a law is amended. Meanwhile, your child sees countless funny videos. Alcohol plays a role in roughly 20 percent of those videos. How do you deal with this as a parent?

talk in a quiet moment with your child about alcohol. Questions to ask:

  • Do you ever drink alcohol?
  • Do your friends drink alcohol?
  • Have you ever been offered it?
  • What do you know about alcohol?

Set boundaries and explain why you don't want your child to be 18the birthday drinks. Have that knowledge ready. Here you will find information about why it is for young people it is more dangerous to drink alcohol.

keep in touch with your child about alcohol. Listen to him or her. Give space to his or her opinion, but be clear and set frameworks.

Make appointments, for example: you report when you are home, no matter what time it is. You tell me honestly if you've been drinking. We'll talk about it the next day.

There's not much you can do about the videos themselves. You also cannot (completely) prevent your minor child from seeing these videos. What you can do is (continue to) have a conversation about alcohol. As a parent, you have more influence on your teen than you might think. Source: pointer.kro.ncrv.nl.



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