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Popular streaming platform TikTok has gone from strength to strength throughout lockdown, as more people turn to it as their source of entertainment.
However with so many videos being uploaded every day, the exact nature of what children are viewing might have been a source of concern for parents (opens in new tab).
Now the streaming platform (opens in new tab) has sought to remedy this. TikTok has introduced new safety features on the app that allow parents to monitor their children’s accounts.
What do the new TikTok safety features do?
Parents will now be able to set their teenager’s TikTok account to private. This can be done through the app’s Family Pairing feature. This allows parents and guardians to link their own accounts to that of their children.
The new feature is part of a wider package of updates to Family Pairing. Other new features include the ability for parents to turn off comments on videos entirely, or else enable comments for friends only.
Parents can also turn off the search function for content, users, hashtags or sounds. They can also now limit who can see the videos their children have liked.
How long has TikTok had its Family Pairing feature?
These new updates add another layer of parental control and safety (opens in new tab) to the TikTok experience. However, the Family Pairing feature in fact first launched earlier this year.
The feature also allows parents to manage exactly how long their teenagers spend a day using the app via the Screen Time Management settings. They can also restrict their child’s For You page to content that is appropriate for all ages via Restricted Mode.
Head of Child Safety Public Policy, Europe, Alexandra Evans has reportedly voiced her support for the feature. She stated: Family Pairing provides teenagers with a guardrail as they discover TikTok.”
Speaking of the new additions to the app, she said: “The updates we are making today are the latest in a series of steps we have taken to give families the tools they need to create the TikTok experience that's right for them."
"We know that when people feel safe, they feel free to express their creativity," Evans said. "That's why safety is at the heart of everything we do."
According to the Evening Standard, this sentiment was shared by Carolyn Bunting, chief executive of Internet Matters.
She spoke of how important it is for parents to be informed. “Children with parents who are engaged with what they’re doing online are safer online,” she said.
Carolyn later praised TikTok’s updates, stating: “It’s clear that social media companies need to do more to ensure their platforms are safe spaces for young people". She went on to say: "we welcome the new safety features that TikTok is adding.”
The new features from TikTok are the latest in a series of steps the app has taken this year to help keep their younger users safe. Other additions include restricting direct messaging to users over 16 and prompting all users under 18 to set their account to private when joining.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.
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