Beware the Dangers of TikTok
LGBT extremists are deliberately targeting children with dangerous propaganda using methods that are designed to ensure that the children’s parents know nothing about it. That is the disturbing lesson from two stories that broke over the past few weeks.
The first story involves a uproar that broke out at a school in California. Parents there are up in arms after it was revealed that two teachers at the school have been digitally “stalking” their students to find malleable recruits for their LGBT club.
In recorded comments, the teachers boasted about how they used technology designed to monitor their students during Covid-related online learning to see which students were visiting LGBT-themed websites, or speaking with their peers about LGBT topics. They would then personally reach out to those students, and invite them to join the “Equality Club.”
In one case, the teachers coached a twelve-year-old girl how to go about developing a “transgender” identity, while making sure that her parents were kept in the dark. The girl’s mother only learned that her daughter was now “transgender” when she was called into a meeting at the school.
In a fiery speech at a school board meeting, the furious mother recounted how school officials got angry with her when she continued to call her daughter “she” at the meeting, and accused her of not being “emotionally supportive” of her child.
A few days later, Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up at her door, saying that a complaint had been made against her. CPS officials questioned the woman’s children, asking them if they wanted to be removed from the house. “They made me feel like a monster,” she said. Although CPS dropped the case, the mother said she has been terrified to ask questions about what’s happening at school for fear that her children might get taken away.
The good news in this case is that parents at that school have banded together and are pushing back. At the moment, both teachers have been suspended, pending an investigation.
TikTok is Awash with Transgender Propaganda
However, other tactics being used by LGBT extremists to access children and to mold their minds, all without their parents knowing, are less easy to detect, and far more difficult to fight.
That’s the lesson of the second important story. A few weeks ago, the Daily Mail published the results of a study showing that pro-transgender activists are using the wildly popular social media platform TikTok to push transgender-themed videos, many of which are instructional videos about how to go about becoming transgender, including obtaining sex-change hormones and surgery.
According to the Daily Mail, videos tagged with the hashtag #Trans, have been viewed over 26 billion times on the site.
It is hard to overstate the popularity of TikTok, particularly among children and teenagers. Recently, TikTok surpassed Google as the #1 most-visited website on the Internet. Many teens spend hours on TikTok every day.
Savvy LGBT-activists have openly and explicitly partnered with the social media platform to push as much LGBT-themed content as possible. Last, year TikTok signed a partnership agreement with the extreme LGBT-activist organization Stonewall to do just that.
As the Daily Mail reports, one popular “transgender” influencer, Bella Fitzpatrick, who is only 19-years-old, has over 700,000 followers on the site. Recently, he (who now claims to be a “she”) raised £20,000 to fund his sex-change surgery, documenting the process along the way, and providing detailed information about how others can follow his example.
Trans activists are not shy about their plan to reach kids using the platform. One such activist, a makeup artist and drag queen who goes by the name Mother Victory, boasted to the Today Show about how he amassed 1.5 million followers during the pandemic.
The Today Show highlighted one 16-year-old, Jaye Kim, whose biological sex is unclear from the story but who identifies as “non-binary,” who credited Mother Victory for giving him/her the courage to adopt a new identity. “I’m Asian and I am nonbinary, so I never see people like me on TV or in movies or anything,” said Kim. “Mother Victory is so funny and bold and just not afraid to put herself out there. Seeing her videos made me have more self-confidence, and looking at how many followers she has makes me feel I can be myself and be accepted, too.”
TikTok Fueling a Social Contagion
The Daily Mail quoted concerned parents who are fearful that TikTok is “fueling a social contagion,” by presenting transgenderism as the “cool” thing to do to millions of impressionable teens.
Kate Harris, who belongs to LGB Alliance, which opposes extreme transgender ideology, noted that many of the videos on TikTok suggest “that it is easy to change sex and that it is the answer to all of your problems.” She called the videos “deeply frightening,” noting that “the message is so often, ‘Don’t involve your parents.’”
Fear of a social-media-fed social contagion is not just baseless alarmism. There is growing evidence in support of the existence of what researchers have called “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” In cases of rapid onset gender dysphoria, children and teenagers with no prior history of gender confusion suddenly self-identify as transgender. Frequently, this coincides with other individuals in their social circle or school also identifying as transgender.
In one extreme case, a total of 17 students at a single UK school suddenly identified as transgender. Many of those students, incidentally, had autism. Girls, in particular, seem to be especially susceptible to rapid onset gender dysphoria.
The idea of social contagion would in part explain the dizzying explosion in the numbers of children and teens identifying as transgender in recent years. For instance, one survey by the CDC in 2019 found that nearly two percent of students in grades 9-12 identify as “transgender.” Meanwhile, according to The Telegraph, in 2009-10 in the UK, there were just 40 girls seeking transgender “treatments” in the UK. By 2017-18, that grew to 1,806, an increase of 4,400%.
As the Mail notes, many of the videos on TikTok present transgenderism not only as harmless and easy, but also as something that can bring all sorts of benefits. One TikTok influencer, Alex Consani, 18, says in a video that followers may be only “one oestrogen pill away from a glow up.” As the Mail explains, “A ‘glow up’ is a mental, physical and emotional transformation for the better.”
Take millions of kids going through the already-confusing period of adolescence and sexual development, isolate them during a pandemic, give them 24/7 access to the Internet, and then flood their minds with radical content suggesting that all their angst and other problems may be due to being born in the “wrong body,” and propose adopting a transgender identity as the “solution,” and it is inevitable that some will decide to give transgenderism a try.
Some of these, alas, will be permanently and profoundly harmed by the experiment, ending up in a dark world of sexual confusion, with bodies permanently mutilated and sterilized by irreversible drug regimens and surgeries.
Don’t Give Your Children Smartphones. Period.
All I can say by way of conclusion is to reiterate something that I have said many times in the past: Parents, don’t give your children smartphones. Period.
Just don’t do it.
The brother of someone I know said that when he sent his children to a local public school, his children were the only children in the entire school who did not have a smartphone.
Of course, some of the parents of children with smartphones probably had filtering on their children’s phones. But frankly, that’s not good enough. Although filtering is better than no filtering, all filtering technology is imperfect. Furthermore, while filtering technology can filter explicit materials, the kind of propaganda being posted on TikTok is designed to get around filtering by purporting to be “educational material” about “human rights” and “health.”
Filtering technology is a poor replacement for good parenting and oversight. If, for whatever reason (and, as mentioned, I can’t think of a good one), a parent feels that they must give their children a smartphone, that does not excuse them from frequently checking what their children are viewing, and frequently talking with their children about the responsible use of technology. The same goes for all computers and televisions in the house.
Concerned parents would not invite the local drag queen into their home for unsupervised conversations with their children. So why would they give their children a device that allows them to potentially spend endless hours listening to that same drag queen (or worse) tell their child, in graphic detail, precisely how they can socially, medically, and surgically alter themselves to become the opposite sex, and how they can go about hiding all of this from their own parents?
Yes, that is what these people are doing. And they are doing it with the enthusiastic support of the big-tech companies, like TikTok, that have captured the rapt attention of tens of millions of our children. As a parent, your job is to say, “No! Not in my house. Not with my children.”
Any technology, application, program, or virtual platform can have incredible benefits, as well as dangerous downsides. Both raise ethical questions, which are not only of interest to parents but also of concern to each of us; we are all impacted. Hence, we must wake up to the danger these technologies, applications, etc. pose, ask appropriate questions, and demand that those in government take swift action to protect our youth, families, and society.
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Father Shenan J. Boquet was ordained in 1993 and is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Roman Catholic Diocese in Louisiana, his home state, where he served before joining HLI as its President in August 2011. Father Boquet earned a BA from Saint Joseph Seminary College, a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology, a Certification Program in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and a Master of Science in Bioethics (MSBe) from the University of Mary in Bismarck. In 2018, Father Boquet was awarded an honorary visiting professorship by the Benedict XVI Catholic University in Trujillo, Peru. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing email@example.com.