TikTok Introduce New Rules To Protect Younger Users Following Safety Fears
The changes in user policy have come after concerns around child safety on the platform, in particular the sharing of under-age user generated content via automated algorithms. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
TikTok has announced new measures to make the platform safer for users under the age of 16. Under the new rules, all new and existing TikTok users under 16 will have their accounts automatically set to ‘private’ by default, meaning their content can only be shared with chosen contacts instead of being shared publicly.
Other changes include removing the ability for public comments by restricting comment options to ‘friends’ or ‘no one’ and also removing the ability for other users to use ‘Duet’ and ‘Switch’ features that allow users to create shared content videos – for 16-17-year-olds ‘Duet’ and ‘Switch’ features will be set to ‘friends’ only by default.
“We know there is no finish line when it comes to minor safety, and that is why we are continuously evolving our policies and investing in our technology and human-moderation teams so that Tik Tok remains a safe place for all our users to express their creativity.”
Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety, TikTok
The changes in user policy have come after concerns around child safety on the platform, in particular the sharing of under-age user generated content via automated algorithms to users requesting a preference for this type of material, and the potential for child-grooming and exploitation.
“We want our younger users to be able to make informed choices about their privacy, and by engaging them early in their privacy journey we hope to help them make such decisions. As young people start their digital journey, we believe it’s important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls to manage their online presence.”
It is hoped that these new default settings will enable younger users to become more aware of their own wellbeing and how these safety features can help. The platform also provides tips and guidance for parents on how to keep young children safe and a guide to the safety features available. TikTok suggested tips for parents include:
- Switch on restricted mode.
- Make sure their TikTok accounts are set to private so that only friends can view their posts.
- Turn off commenting by strangers.
- Limit direct messages to only friends.
- Limit their time using the app.
If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, we can help you. Visit our Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
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