TikTok has updated its guidelines for young users. The default setting for users under the age of 16 is now a private account. In addition, comments and certain functions for minors are restricted.
The short video platform has gained a large number of users in recent months and has secured its place as the most downloaded app in 2020. TikTok is particularly popular with young people. A not inconsiderable part of the users consists of minors. To ensure better protection for these, TikTok has now revised some of its guidelines. This announced the platform in their newsroom.
Private account as the default setting for 13 to 15 year oldse
Probably the biggest update announced by TikTok is that a private account for young users between the ages of 13 and 15 will be the default setting from now on. With a private account, only the previously confirmed followers of the users can watch their videos. The new default setting is intended to encourage young users to make informed decisions about who they want to share their content with.
Users under the age of 13 are – at least in theory – not able to create a TikTok account. For younger users in the USA, however, there is the option of restricted use of the app, which can be used to activate additional protective measures.
Limited comments, duets, and stitches for minors
Another update concerns the comment function. In future, videos that were created by 13 to 15-year-old users can only be commented on to a limited extent. Here, users have the option of either not allowing anyone or only friends (followers whom they also follow) to comment – the “All” option will no longer be available to them in future.
In addition, the Duet and Stitch functions can only be used in the future with content that was created by users over the age of 16. In addition, the download option for videos from under-16s has been deactivated.
Partnership with Common Sense Networks
Another announcement concerns a future cooperation between TikTok and the media company Common Sense Networks, which specializes in child protection. This is intended to support the platform in making the restricted app use even safer and more appropriate for children under the age of 13. Eric Berger, Common Sense Networks CEO, excited about the collaboration:
We couldn’t be more pleased about partnering with TikTok to develop better content experiences for users under the age of 13. At Common Sense Networks, we see this engagement as an opportunity to double down on our commitment to elevate the quality of children’s digital media so that age-appropriate content is the rule in our industry and not the exception.
TikTok has made some efforts in the past to make the app safer for minors. These include, for example, restricted direct messages, live streams and virtual gifts, which are only available to users aged 16 and over. The platform wants to continue to work in the future to make TikTok an even safer place for its young users. This is particularly desirable in view of the constantly increasing number of users. The number of users is now beyond the mark of the official almost 700 million users, and could possibly have climbed into the range of a billion.
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