TikTok is tightening its grip to protect underage users on its platform. The list of new rules – including additional settings for TikTok’s chat function for 16-17 year olds – should better ensure youth privacy. Part of the new rules are also intended to reduce pressure to participate on the platform.
Chat function and curfew
TikTok’s chat functionality has already been disabled for minors under the age of 16. As of the new privacy rules, this will also apply to people between the ages of 16 and 17. By default, they can no longer receive messages from strangers. Currently, 16-17 year olds can still receive messages from strangers, even if they also have followers. With the arrival of new rules, it is still possible to open direct messages manually. For example, 16-17 year olds can still receive messages from strangers.
In addition to the new chat settings, TikTok is making changes to the platform’s notification settings. Users between the ages of 13 and 15 will not receive TikTok notifications after 9 PM. Settings are also modified for users aged 16-17; They have a 10am curfew notice. According to TikTok, this takes the pressure off having to participate in TikTok, for example, by commenting on someone else’s videos. Research shows that minors feel more pressure from social media than adults do.
Download Block on TikTok
TikTok also wants to protect minors in other ways, including changing who can download minors’ content. For videos from users under the age of 16, videos can never be downloaded. As with direct messages, users between the ages of 16 and 17 will have to adjust a setting to make their videos available for download. Videos for users aged 16-17 will not be available for download by default.
Finally, TikTok allows 16-year-old users to select who can view their video via a popup. TikTok previously came up with mods for users between the ages of 13 and 15. For them, their TikTok account is set to private by default, and the videos are only visible to those who follow them. Moreover, TikTok has modified the comments on the videos of the users between the ages of 13 and 15 in a way that not everyone is allowed to comment on them anymore.
It’s no surprise that TikTok has made such extensive changes. The Chinese company has been under fire for some time over the way it handles the personal data of young people. For this reason, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) decided to impose a fine of 750 thousand euros on TikTok, which made it announced last month.
What do you think of the modifications TikTok is now making to its service to protect the privacy of young people? Be sure to tell us in the comments at the bottom of the article.