TikTok introduces new safety features for under 16s

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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TikTok users under the age of 16 will automatically have their accounts set to private.

The video sharing social media platform is taking a number of actions to improve child safety on the app, including only approved followers being able to comment on videos from such accounts.

In a blog post, Eric Han - TikTok's Head of US Safety - wrote: At TikTok, we know that creativity and expression are personal. And so is privacy.

"That's why we empower our community with a range of controls to manage their online

"As young people start their digital journey, we believe it's important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls."

Starting this week, all 13-15-year-old users have to approve their followers, which limits who can comment on their videos to either "Friends" or "No One", with the "Everyone" comment setting being removed.

Duet and Stitch settings have also been altered to only make them available to over 16s, while users aged 16 and 17 will have their default setting switched to "Friends".

Furthermore, downloads of videos will only be available on those created by users aged 16 and over.

Users aged 16 to 17 will have the default set to "Off", as other users can decide whether or not they want to allow downloads of their clips.

And the setting "Suggest your account to others" is turned off by default for users aged 13-15.

These updates follow other measures introduced by TikTok, such as restricting direct messaging and hosting live streams to users 16 and over, while the buying, sending and receiving of virtual gifts is restricted to 18 and over.

Parents and caregivers remain in control with Family Pairing features allowing them to set guardrails on their teen's experience.

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