Last updated on 19th October, 2022
Social media giant, TikTok has become a sanctuary for homeless families in Syria seeking financial assistance from the rest of the world yet the majority of donations are being pocketed by the platform.
TikTok’s rules and regulations claim that users must have 1,000 followers before going live, and also users must not actively beg for gifts, and must not abuse children on the platform. A BBC investigation discovered, however, that many youngsters go live on a routine basis to seek virtual presents openly, facilitated by TikTok-affiliated intermediaries who give them the equipment – and take a piece of the revenues.
According to the report, TikTok keeps up to 70% of the revenue earned by Syrians through begging. TikTok claimed to make up to $1000 per hour but only earned a small proportion of that. When the company maintained that it took “much less” than 70% but refused to disclose the percentage of their said cut, BBC launched an experiment and operated their own account to seek donations.
A BBC crew in London deposited $106 to that account, but they only received $33, less than one-third of the money. After the intermediaries and money transfer company got their part, they were left with only $19, less than 20% of the value of the donations.
The BBC also reached TikTok star and former pro rugby player Keith Mason, who earlier on donated $330 during a broadcast of one family and urged his almost one million followers to do the same.
When told that the social networking company had pocketed the majority of the monies, he called it “ridiculous” and “unfair.” “You’ve got to have some transparency. To me, that’s very greedy. It’s greed,” he added. According to the story, the BBC contacted numerous charities in Syria to help displaced families, and while some are striving to provide them supplies and educate their children, most families are still compelled to go live on the platform day after day.
The Syrian civil war, which has ruined Syria and its neighbors, is a complicated conflict which involves rebel factions , terrorist organizations and multiple countries.
What began as a nonviolent protest in 2011 swiftly turned into full-fledged combat. Since the battle began, over 470,000 people have been murdered, nearly one million have been injured, and millions more have been forced to escape their homes and live as refugees.