TikTok to add safety changes to accounts with underage users

TikTok safety app changes underage teenage users

TikTok has announced several safety changes to accounts with underage users, including new Direct Message prompts and a cut-off time for push notifications.

The changes, announced on 12 August, are aimed at users aged between 13 to 17.

“On TikTok, we offer a range of safety and privacy controls to empower people to make decisions about who they share their content with,” company officials wrote in a blog post.

“We also believe it’s important to ensure even stronger proactive protections to help keep teens safe, and we’ve continually introduced changes to support age-appropriate experiences on our platform.”

TikTok will roll the changes out worldwide in the coming months.

What changes will TikTok make to underage accounts?

When someone aged 16 to 17 creates an account, their Direct Messages (DMs) will be set to ‘No One’ by default. This means that they cannot send DMs to any other account.

To send DMs, the users must actively switch to a different sharing option.

For existing teenage accounts that have never sent a DM, those users will see a prompt that asks them to review and confirm their privacy settings.

Accounts with users under the age of 16 cannot receive videos or images in messages.

TikTok safety changes underage teenage users

Meanwhile, under-16 users will see a prompt when they are about to post their first video. The prompt will ask them if they are ready to post the video and to choose who can watch it. The app will not let them post the video until they have made a selection.

Teenage users will also receive a prompt confirming that other users can download their videos. That feature is permanently disabled for under-16 users

Tiktok sets the accounts of users aged 13-15 to private by default. They can only choose to share their videos with their Friends or Followers.

Finally, TikTok has changed the time window in which underage users can receive push notifications.

Accounts with users aged 13-15 will not receive notifications after 9pm.

Meanwhile, users aged 16-17 will not receive notifications after 10pm.

Featured image: Unsplash/Alexander Shatov

Read more: Google to roll out protection features for younger users

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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