TikTok is updating its privacy and browsing options for families by building on its Family Pairing features.
Parents now have the option to manage their teen’s online experience through a new feature that allows them to link their TikTok accounts, and directly set discoverability and safety controls.
The move comes as the latest in an effort by TikTok to enhance privacy on its platform, and to protect minors, after the company (formerly known as Musical.ly) in 2019 was fined some $7.8 million (US$5.7m) by the United States’ Federal Trade Commission for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Developed for parents, this suite of new features is intended to jumpstart digital wellbeing and online safety education, TikTok claimed in a blog post. The new features include:
- Search: Directly control whether your teen can search for content, users, hashtags, or sounds
- Comments: Decide who can comment on the teen’s videos (everyone, friends, no one)
- Discoverability: Decide whether your teen’s account is private (your teen decides who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content)
- Liked videos: Decide who can view the videos your teen liked.
“Parenting a teen’s digital life can be daunting and many parents feel as though they’re playing catchup when it comes to the latest technology and apps their teens use,” TikTok ANZ’s general manager of GBS, Brett Armstrong, said in a statement.
“Working with our community and industry partners, we are committed to helping facilitate important conversations within families about internet safety.
“Family Pairing was developed to help parents build upon their online safety education and define the experience that is best for their families.”
Family Pairing currently offers features that include Screen Time Management, Restricted Mode, and Direct Message controls to provide parents with insight and control over how their teens use TikTok.
For families who want to learn more about online safety, TikTok has created a number of resources, including its Youth Portal, Parents’ page, educational safety videos and more.
TikTok said it remains committed to the safety of its community, especially teens, and will continue to develop resources, tools, and policies as it aims for the highest level of safety.
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