Sneaky Link: The New TikTok Terminology Explained

September 1, 2022
TikTok seems to find something new to obsess over every week, if not every day. After all, the platform is filled with Gen Z, who will do everything in their power to keep themselves busy with mundane activities.  This latest new and rather worrying trend is #SneakyLink.  If you have used TikTok recently, you may be familiar with the hashtag popping up everywhere but not be sure what it stands for. Many people are confused about the term. “Sneak Link” has crossed the boundaries of slang at this point. Right now, we can designate it as a code word. Users are openly propositioning others to be sneaky links. Think of it as high schoolers making a prom proposal, but a hundred times more inappropriate.  Trends should be fun, not possibly detrimental to public health, especially young minds. In straight English, Sneaky Link means “spies.” But it cannot be that simple if it has raked in so much attention across different hashtags. For parents who are wondering what this new slang exactly means, let us fill you in.  

What Are Sneaky Links on TikTok?

Sneaky links are the newest way for individuals to arrange quick hookups. The hashtag allows TikTok users to organize a face-to-face meet-up with their “fling.” It gets worse. Some users will dedicate time out of their day or week to meet up with their sneaky links. That's quite a lot of commitment from commitment-phobes. This new meet-up trend is supposed to be a no-string-attached, secretive rendezvous – what you would think of when a book or movie mentions individual cheating on their spouse with their sidepiece. And, from what we could gather from all the videos under the hashtag, the primary rule of this is to keep it light, breezy, and casual at all times. TikTok has found a way to secretly flirt around publicly without being held accountable for its actions. Most parents would be mortified by this trend.  

The Story Behind Sneaky Link Going Viral on TikTok

This weird trend started when a song titled “Sneaky Link 2.0” was released. Sun by HXLLYWOOD featuring Kayla Nicole and Soulja Boy, the song starts with the verse, “Boy you just my sneaky link, so don't keep texting me.”  The song went viral on TikTok, and a snippet was used as the overlay for around a million videos. Users went on to confess their secret relationships in public. Currently, the hashtag #sneakylink has over three billion views on the platform.   The lyrics went on to say:   Girl, I can be your sneaky link (sneaky link) Be my sneaky link (sneaky link)   Feminists on the platform took offense at the lyrics, claiming lines such as, “Girl, I am your only fan rest of the world don't give a damn,” objectified women. The singer was trying to portray women as less warm lovers and more an object to fulfill their disgusting urges. Naturally, people started commenting that this song and trend could relay the wrong message to underaged kids who still have little idea about what is right and what isn't. By associating sexual intentions with an individual, they may send the false impression that they favor the objectification of human existence. Reddit bills itself as the world's biggest teen community. A website designed by and for teens. Users began writing, “I want Sneaky Links,” and members of this ostensible community bashed the post with no replies. On that very website, users began shaming a man for responding to a post published by a female with the words “Sneaky Link.” When the girl was reached directly, she was forced to deactivate all of her social media handles.  

Why Are TikTok Trends Dangerous?

The video-sharing platform has been banned in many countries due to actual security concerns. TikTok is allowed access to your location even when the phone's GPS is deactivated. Parents are also concerned about the adverse effect it has on children between the ages of 6 to 13. TikTok trends often get pointless, risqué, or downright useless. For example, the #JeepChallenge asked people to enter a jeep through its windows. Not so surprisingly, many people sustained injuries in the process. The Sneaky Link challenge saw individuals making clips of their favorite artists or actors and objectifying them. Disturbing, to say the least.  

Parental Control Apps to Block TikTok



Bark oversees email, text messages, and more than 30 social media platforms for your child's safety. It keeps a lookout for activity that can have negative connotations, such as adult content, drug use, online predators, cyberbullying, and self-harm thoughts. The app's location-sharing feature alerts if your child leaves or arrives at a particular place. It actively filters through photos, texts, and videos, and if it detects anything fishy, it sends notifications to the parents. You will receive automated alerts through text messages and email when Bark senses potential danger.  

Block TikTok with Bark



QuStodio lets parents track their child's social networks, messages, and location. Parents can filter apps or websites they fear hold inappropriate content. Block games that you do not wish your child to play and also set time limits on the devices they use. Plus, you can track your child's location at any given moment. And your child can access a panic button that sends you an alert immediately once they trigger it.  

Net Nanny

Net Nanny is a forerunner in the parental control app sector, offering all-around services at an affordable rate. This app allows parents to monitor their kid's digital habits while safeguarding them from potentially dangerous content. You can designate time limits for screen time and stop your children from seeing inappropriate content. Moreover, parents receive detailed information regarding the search history of their kids. They also receive real-time alerts on firearms, suicide, drug-related, or pornographic content. And, of course, you can block apps and websites you do not want your child accessing or set specific times of the day when they can access the app.  

How to Set Up TikTok's Parental Controls

A crucial bit of information TikTok needs about the account holder is their birthday. Unfortunately, once you set your birthday, it's almost impossible to change it, irrespective of whether it is incorrect. All users aged 13 to 15 are automatically given the following features as of January 2021:  
  • Automatic private accounts
  • No direct messages (DMs)
  • Comments are restricted to “No one” or “Friends”
  • Videos cannot be downloaded or remixed
  For users aged 16 to 17, the set video settings are set to “Friends” for video remixes, and downloads are “off” by default, but users can alter the settings. As for children under 13, they are not supposed to use the app in the first place.  The second most vital feature TikTok offers is Parent Pairing. The app will allow parents to “attach” their device to their child's to monitor their kid's searching, privacy, content, etc., from the parent's device. For a child under 16 who has their birthday filled in correctly to by-pass the parental controls, you can find the parental controls through a manual system:  

TikTok Parental Controls

  1. Change to a private account as this will stop complete strangers from getting in contact with your kid
  2. Toggle the “Allow others to find me” option – an extra layer of protection to conceal your child's account from TikTok's search results
  3. Unsubscribe from customized data – this stops the app from gathering user data. And for a Chinese company currently facing investigation due to privacy violation complaints, we highly suggest this for anyone.
  4. Change all the SAFETY options to “Friends.” By default, the setting is “Everyone” for “who can duet you,” “who can post comments,” and “who can react to your videos.” Making an account private ensures strangers cannot find your kid, but it also guarantees that they will not be able to invite strangers.
  5. Enable Restricted Mode and Time Management – you can locate these settings under “Digital Wellbeing” on the “Privacy and safety” setting. These assist with blocking explicit, mature content and screen time – both need a four-digit password, which allows parents to set rules.
Please remember that even if Restricted Mode is on, it will allow mature content to pass through.  

How to Talk to Your Kids About a TikTok Challenge

Keeping your children safe on social media is now harder than ever. Therefore, parents have to set ground rules that establish healthy boundaries. Many parents take the wrong route when speaking to their children about the dangers of social media platforms. So, what is the best way to explain the limits of a TikTok challenge to your child? Your initial impulse might be to confiscate their phone, reprimand, or punish them for crossing a certain line. However, as easy it is to take the angry route out, we find that an alternate approach may work better.  
  • Listen: Listen to your children before taking any disciplinary actions. Ask them what they think of the challenge. Make sure to keep all judgment till the end. You can find the motivating factors behind these behaviors, be it humor, insecurity, or the need to fit in.
  • Discuss Consequences: Provide real-life examples of cases from news or print media and make them understand that their actions have consequences, even if they think it's all a joke. It matters how our actions impact others, not the intent.
  • Suggest Questions Before Posting: Tell them to ask themselves these three questions before making any post: 
  1. Why am I making this post?
  2. Will this negatively influence someone?
  3. Will I regret this in the future?
  A human's prefrontal cortex does not develop fully until they turn 20. That part of the brain is tasked with reasoning. Thus, a child's capacity to resist temptations is significantly lower than an adult's. It's important to remember this when conversing with a child, especially on sensitive topics.  Raising your child's emotional intelligence (EQ) is the best way to raise them as kinder, empathetic humans. Recognizing that certain behaviors can harm another person or asking them to evaluate how they would feel had the same happened to them is a great way to condition their behavior. The game of likes, shares, and popularity is a dangerous one. The stakes are high, but we must never get caught up in the illusion of social media. At the same time, it's foolish to think social media platforms are the villain here. Good or bad depends on how we interact with it.  

Final Thoughts

#Sneakylink is just another trend on TikTok that will die down after a week or two. However, there is something to learn from these challenges. Children must be prompted to ask themselves the three crucial questions mentioned above. That way, they may understand that some posts are not worth making.  



OOMF means “One of my friends.” Urban Dictionary states that OOMF is frequently used in a negative tone – to talk about someone behind their back.

Heather is a song sung by musician Conan Gray. There, the artist sings about a familiar scenario where one person has a crush on someone, but their crush likes someone else.

Urban Dictionary describes the term as, “If someone calls you Heather, it means that a lot of people like you.”

American Indie band Sales released a track titled “Pope is a Rockstar.” A line of the song went viral but not in the conventional sense. The line “Pope is a Rockstar” was misheard in the community as “Go little rockstar,” and now it's a wholesome trend on the platform where people cherish achievements of different sorts or fondly remember belated lost ones.

In reality, CEO stands for Chief Executive Officer. However, on TikTok, when someone is said to be the CEO of something, that means they are the best at it.

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Mark Harris

Mark Harris

A concerned 46 year old father of 3, ages 16, 12 & 9, Computer scientist "As part of my parenting quest to keep my children safe in the online world, I've researched and tested many parental control apps. I take great pride in contributing to other parents quests by sharing my reviews on Parental Control Now".

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