TikTok has unveiled a set of measures aimed at safeguarding the well-being of its adolescent users. From 21:00 to 22:00, users aged 13-15 will not receive trigger notifications, while users aged 16 and 17 will not receive push notifications.
According to the video-sharing app, this will aid individuals in concentrating on work, relaxing, study, and sleep.
It will also change its default settings to require 16- and 17-year-olds to opt-in to receive direct communications.
“We want to help our younger users, in particular, develop positive digital habits early on,” TikTok said.
TikTok has previously said that direct texting was only available to those aged 16 and over. Direct messaging will now be set to “no one” by default for 16 and 17-year-olds, meaning they will have to deliberately change to a different sharing option to communicate with others.
The next time they send out a message, existing users will be prompted to check and confirm their privacy settings.
Furthermore, before kids can publish their first TikTok, under-16s will be asked to pick who will see their videos, according to the company:
- Their followers
- Just friends
- Just themselves
Andy Burrows, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Youngsters’ head of online child safety, praised the new measures, saying TikTok was demonstrating “industry leadership” and that the move would decrease chances for criminals to recruit children.
However, he cited legislation as the driving force for numerous internet companies’ recent announcements of additional safety features.
Mr. Burrows said, “The raft of safety announcements we have seen in recent weeks has been driven by the Age Appropriate Design Code coming into force next month and shows the positive impact regulation has on children’s safety.”
Google, for example, made improvements to its YouTube Kids offering as well as techniques to exclude children’s photos from image search results. However, Apple is launching new techniques to detect child sexual abuse content and to alert parents if their children receive or transmit sexually explicit content.