TikTok made the stricter rules known today for users between 13 and 15 years old. In addition to setting this group’s accounts to private by default, their accounts are no longer recommended to others on TikTok. Videos of these users can only be seen by people who have been approved by them as followers. They can also no longer set that everyone can respond to their videos. From now on, that is only possible for their friends, or the reaction function can be turned off completely.
The popular TikTok features for Duet and Stitch will also be disabled for 13, 14 and 15 year old users. The two functions are now set to ‘Friends’ by default for TikTok users aged 16 and 17. Incidentally, stricter rules already applied to users under the age of 13.
“We think it will improve the privacy and security of our younger users in particular”, explains Elaine Fox, TikTok’s chief of privacy in the EU, the new policy.
Options for parents
Last year, TikTok already implemented a number of measures to improve the safety of minors, such as limiting direct messages and hosting live streams to accounts aged 16 and older.
Parents can also set up rules for the use of TikTok for their children with the Family Pairing function. TikTok does not rule out more measures. “We are constantly developing our policies and investing in our technology and human moderation teams,” said Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety Europe.
Fine in the US
TikTok was fined by the US regulator FTC in 2019 for violating US children’s privacy laws. After that, the app already implemented restrictions for young children. For example, users under the age of 13 cannot see certain videos and cannot upload videos.
Users can also enter their own age on TikTok. The app does not check whether it is really correct.
Most downloaded app of 2020
TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide in 2020, with an estimated 850 million new downloads. The app is especially popular among young people. An estimated 41 percent of TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24.
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