This week’s announcement of the security flaw, a vulnerability, in the social media/music video platform TikTok, got me thinking. The vulnerability in the TikTok messaging service (https://nyti.ms/2T4zHfs) was discovered and soon patched by the software engineers at TikTok. No company wants to leave a vulnerability open to exploitation, and so risk their user’s sensitive data. After all, this could potentially cost their users time and money, and cause feelings of resentment towards TikTok (this same story can be said of every social media platform, they’ve all had security flaws over the last 10 years).
There is a great irony here of course, and you can probably see where this is going. The entire business model of TikTok - and TikToks predecessors/competitors Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat - has a vulnerability at its foundation. The vulnerability lies in human psychology. If I can make an analogy to human psychology as the operating system for the human mind and socialization, there is a security flaw in our OS that has been identified. But rather than being patched, it is being ruthlessly exploited. This flaw leaves users wide open to attacks that cost them time, money, emotional and physical wellbeing.