TikTok profits from Syrians begging online and takes up to 70 percent of the donations, according to an investigation published on Wednesday.
A BBC journalist, for the past five months, examined 30 TikTok accounts that were going live daily from Syrian refugee camps and found out that Syrian displaced families who are digitally begging earn up to $1,000 per hour but only receive a very small part of donations.
Many of these live streams have children who spent hours saying, “Please like, share, and please gift.”
The journalist also found out that agencies from China and the Middle East directly recruit Syrian families with no source of income.
According to the report, these agencies also provide these families with online gadgets and access to TikTok.
These middlemen help the platform gain more traffic and encourage users to spend more time watching live streams.
The report also revealed that the largest number of donations came from the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, TikTok responded to the report by stating, “We are deeply concerned by the information and allegations brought to us by the BBC, and have taken prompt and rigorous action.”
The platform further stated that “exploitative begging” is prohibited on TikTok.
However, the app also declined to reveal the amount of its commission from digital gifts.