Wake County teen wrongly banned from TikTok over false reports she's under 13

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Friday, September 9, 2022
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A Wake County teen's TikTok account was deleted over accusations that she lied about her age. The problem is: She didn't.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wake County teen's TikTok account was deleted over accusations that she lied about her age. The problem is: She didn't.

No matter what proof she provided, it didn't help.

"I love making TikToks with my friends. It even becomes income. As crazy as it sounds, I have an influencer account that I have links there," 16-year-old Carly Fox explained.

With more than 10,000 followers, she gets plenty of attention online. But not all of it is positive. Carly said one follower took it too far.

"She has been making a bunch of accounts all over TikTok, even Instagram, and she has been just reporting me falsely for being under 13," Carly said.

The minimum age for a TikTok user is 13, though the app does have a section exclusively for younger users with additional safety and privacy features.

Since this user repeatedly reported Carly for being younger than 13, TikTok sent her an email saying her account had been permanently deleted. She was given the option to appeal and prove her age, which she did. But it didn't help.

"I tried to fill out the appeals and it told me the only way I could prove my age was with a government ID or a license or passport, and at the time I didn't have any of those." Instead, Carly sent in her birth certificate and student ID, but TikTok did not accept those. "I was losing followers as I didn't have my account for weeks."

Carly's mom, Lori, even tried to help.

"(I) kept submitting the same documentation, the birth certificate, the high school ID and they weren't accepting anything. She was trying and she just kept going around that same cycle over and over again and that was it. Then I got in touch with you," Lori said to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

Wilson got in touch with TikTok and provided the social media company with proof that Carly is 16, not younger than 13, and it worked.

"It was amazing that the second I got in touch with you, probably like a day or two later, it's just her account magically reappeared which was excellent," Lori Fox said.

Carly is now back on TikTok making videos and is relieved she has her account back.

TikTok could not comment on this specific case but said they have procedures in place to make sure users are following the guidelines and age restrictions to keep users safe.