TikTok Updates Privacy Controls For Teens

Tyumen, Russia - January 21, 2020: TikTok and Facebook application  on screen Apple iPhone XR

Tiktok is improving the safety features for teens that use the platform.

In an announcement, TikTok revealed the new changes, which included changes to direct messaging, video visibility, video downloads and notifications.

Messaging changes

TikTok will now be changing the Direct Messaging setting to ‘No One’ by default for people aged 16-17.

The platform says this change will allow these users to make an active decision about their online privacy.

“We want to help teens make active decisions about their privacy settings, so when someone aged 16-17 joins TikTok, their Direct Messaging setting will now be set to ‘No One’ by default. To message others, they will need to actively switch to a different sharing option. Existing accounts that have never used DMs before will receive a prompt asking them to review and confirm their privacy settings the next time they use this feature,” TikTok said.

Changes to who can watch videos

Users under the age of 16 that create a video will not be able to upload the content until they have selected who the video can be shared with.

“The process of making a TikTok is fun and creative – choosing music, picking effects, and getting the transitions right – but it is just as important to choose who that video will be shared with. To help teens understand the sharing options available to them, we’re now adding a pop-up that appears when teenagers under the age of 16 are ready to publish their first video, asking them to choose who can watch the video,” TikTok said.

Video downloads

TikTok will also be making it easier for teens to understand how video downloads work and whether this is something they want.

“With each video going forward, creators can decide who can watch before they post. Accounts aged 13-15 are set to private by default, and private accounts can choose to share their content with Followers or Friends, as the ‘Everyone’ setting is turned off. Duet and Stitch are also disabled for accounts under 16,” TikTok said.

‘Mindful’ notifications

TikTok says it is promoting the well-being of these users by controlling when teen users receive notifications.

Accounts aged 13-15 will not receive push notifications from 9pm, and accounts aged 16-17 will have push notifications disabled starting at 10pm.

“We want to help our younger users in particular develop positive digital habits early on, and we regularly consult with leading paediatric experts and youth well-being advocates to develop our Youth Portal, bullying prevention guide, and other features that support youth-well being,” TikTok said.



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