TikTok Update Launches New Safety Measures for Under 18s

A Safer Zone for Watching and Creating Content

TikTok announced yesterday that it is taking steps towards making its app a safer place for younger users. As TikTok’s popularity increases, the company has a responsibility to protect the rapidly growing army of Gen Z creators that worship the app so fervently.

TikTok’s new update should help to reach this target – here are some of the specific changes that are taking place:

  1. TikTok will set the accounts of users between 13 and 15 to ‘private’ by default.
  2. The app is tightening the options for commenting on videos created by those under age 16. These users can now choose between Friends or No One only, as the Everyone comment setting will no longer be an option.
  3. TikTok are enabling downloads of videos that have been created by users 16 and over only. Other users can opt in or out of allowing downloads of their videos, although for users aged 16-17 the default setting will now be changed to Off, unless they decide to enable it.
  4. Duet and Stitch settings are being altered, meaning the broader TikTok community won’t be able to use those features with content created by people under 16. For users aged 16-17, the default setting for these features will now be set to Friends.
  5. The setting Suggest your account to others will be set, by default, to Off  for users under 16.



TikTok also has plans to collaborate with a nonprofit education and advocacy group, Common Sense Networks, which walks parents and educators through today’s media landscape, including children’s use of technology.

As you’re probably aware, TikTok’s journey to success hasn’t always been plain sailing. The app was briefly banned in India for “morality issues” and inadequate safeguarding, particularly concerning pornographic content and online predators. The app has been continuously investigated and interrogated in the US due to national security concerns, and President Trump even issued an executive order in August 2020 against any firms forming business partnerships with TikTok.

TikTok’s new update, however, should help the app to evolve into a more secure zone, where users of all ages can safely enjoy and create content.

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.

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