TikTok is giving parents more control over their children’s usage of the short-form video app.
The platform has added a brand new feature called ‘Family Pairing’ that lets parents link their kids’ TikTok accounts to theirs. When everything is set up, parents can turn on a mode that restricts what content their children see and set screen time limits.
On top of these new parental options, TikTok is planning to completely turn off the ability for users 16 and younger to send or receive DMs by the end of April. TikTok’s senior director of trust and safety, Jeff Collins, says the platform wants parents to have more supervision over their child’s account.
“We are committed to giving parents insight into, and control over, how their teens use TikTok and helping facilitate important conversations within families about the responsible navigation of digital platforms,” says Collins in a recent blog post.
This move is a significant step forward from where TikTok was a year ago.
The company previously paid the U.S. Federal Trade Commission $5.7 million USD (approximately $8.05 million CAD) after allegedly violating child privacy laws. Previously, children were able to sign up for a TikTok account by providing their name, email address, phone number, and a short biography that included their age. The social media company collected this information without parents’ consent.
Collins says that changes and improvements have been made to the platform’s policies, controls, and educational resources with families in mind.
“We’ve made our policies more transparent and accessible, grown our trust and safety teams, built upon the resources in our Safety Center, and partnered with leading online safety organizations including the Family Online Safety Institute, ConnectSafely, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the PTA,” says Collins.