The Chinese social media service TikTok is concerned about the grooming phenomenon, ie how adults approach children on the platform and try to build a relationship of trust with them, for example by praising and giving attention. The manipulation described as “grooming” seeks to prepare for the sexual exploitation of a child.
To protect underage users, TikTok plans to introduce new restrictions, writes The Guardian. In the future, users under the age of 16 will no longer be able to receive messages from strangers, make “duets,” or mark their publications for others to download. User accounts are set to private by default, which restricts access to videos to users who have been approved as Friends.
For 16-17 year olds, default settings are also introduced that prevent videos from being made available to others for download and “duets” made. However, you can change the settings if you wish.
“These revolutionary changes are the next step on our journey towards a safe TikTok for all users,” Director of Child Safety in Europe Alexandra Evans notes.
The British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) praised the changes presented by TikTok as bold and very welcome.
The restrictions deny the youngest users a number of much-used features. For example, making “duets,” that is, responding to other users ’publications with their own video, has become very popular in recent months. The minimum age for the service is 13 years.
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