TikTok has announced today that they’re making changes to their app to give younger users a safer experience .
The company is set to have private accounts by default for age 13 to 15 users, as well as stiffen other controls for all users under 18, in terms of how they can interact with TikTok contents and other users.
TikTok is also ready to announce a partnership with non-profit Common Sense Networks, an education and advocacy group that helps parents and educators navigate today’s media landscape, including children’s use of technology.
The partnership encompasses Common Sense Networks working with TikTok to come up with extra guidance on the suitability of its contents for under 13 users.
Recall that the social video app was fined $5.7 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating U.S. children’s privacy laws in 2019. The FTC had begun looking into the app back when it used to be Musical.ly. The earlier version before its acquisition by ByteDance, was collecting personal information for children under 13 without the consent of their parents.
Due to that ruling, TikTok created a new legally compliant experience for younger users in the U.S. with age-appropriate content and no ability to publish videos.
Henceforth, the accounts of children from age 13 to 15 will be set to private by default and TikTok will turn the setting “Suggest your account to others” to Off. This will enable users’ videos to only be seen by those they approve as a follower and limits their account from being recommended to others elsewhere in the app while commenting controls are also being locked down for these users.
Also, the accounts of Age 16 to 17 users’ default setting for Duet and Stitch will be set to “Friends,” and they’ll only be able to download videos created by users 16 and over as a result of the lockdown for younger users. Downloads for their own videos will also be set to Off by default, but they can enable this, if they choose.
These changes are said to be effective from today.