TikTok announced today that it is making changes to its app to make the experience safer for younger users. The company will now by default set up accounts for users between the ages of 13 and 15, as well as tightening other controls for all users under 18, how they can interact with other users and TickTalk content. Huh. Tiktok is also announcing a partnership with the non-profit Common sense networkAn education and advocacy group that helps parents and teachers navigate today’s media landscape, including children’s use of technology.
This partnership will see Common Sense Networks working with TickTalk to provide additional guidance on the suitability of its content for users under 13 years of age.
Social video app in 2019 Fined $ 5.7 million by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating US children’s privacy laws. The FTC started seeing the app back when it was known as Musical. The former version, prior to its acquisition by ByteDance, collected personal information for children under 13 without parental consent.
As a result of that ruling, Tiktok created a new, legally compliant experience for young users in the US with no ability to publish age-appropriate content and videos.
Now, TikTok will restrict the experience of using the app to other minors who are over 13 years old.
For children between the ages of 13 and 15, accounts will be set to private by default and the Tickcock setting will turn off “Suggest your account to others”. This will allow users’ videos to be viewed only by those they approve as a follower and limit their account from being recommended to others in the app.
Comment control is also being discontinued for these users.
They will now be able to choose between “Friends” or “None”, who can comment on their videos, and the “All” option will be removed. Dueting and Stitching features will also be removed, which can engage these young users with other TikTok users and their content. They will also not be able to make their videos downloadable.
For ages 16 to 17, the default setting for Duet and Stitch will be set to “Friends” and they will only be able to download videos created by 16 users and result in lockdown for younger users. Downloads for their own videos will also be set to off by default, but they can enable it if they choose.
TiTok had already restricted young users’ accounts in various ways, including not only through the under-13 age experience, but also by it. Ban direct message And hosting live streams, and restricting 16 and above accounts Virtual gift For users over 18. Parents have the option to control their child’s experience through it Family couple The feature, which provides parental controls and screen time limits, among other things.
Of course, any of these restrictions can work around for those who lie about their age at sign-up. But it is still quite unusual for a large social network to do more than look the other way when it knows minors are on its app.
In the case of TikTok, however, it has a large weak user base – some an estimate Had said that 41% of Tickcock is between 16 and 24 years old. But Tickcock has attracted a particularly large teenage user in the US. company 60% said in 2020 It had between 26 and 24.5 million monthly active users in the US. Even some of Tiklok’s biggest stars, such as Charlie D’Melio, are still just teenagers.
Tiktok collected praise from young security experts for noticing minor safety and parental controls, which the company also shared.
Today, TikTok is Praise It has been sourced from the National PTA, ConnectSafely, NCMEC, Family Online Safety Institute, and WeProtect Global Alliance. The groups believe the change will help teens to use the app more safely, with responsibility, and without the risk of exploitation.
In the context of his organization’s partnership with Social Video Platfrom, CEO of Common Sense Networks, “We are not happy about partnering with TickTalk to develop a better content experience for users under 13″ Can be. ” “At Common Sense Networks, we see this engagement as an opportunity to double our commitment to enhancing children’s digital media quality so that our industry has age-appropriate content regulations and not exceptions,” he said .
Changes will start today.