TikTok Improves Safety And Privacy For The Well-Being Of Its Teenager Users


In the modern age of internet and mobile, it's easy to get lost inside the screen.

While anyone can become digital zombies, youngsters are more prone to become one. It's extremely rare for anyone in developed countries to live without smartphones. Teenagers, or even preteens can have their eyes glued to their screens hours at a time.

Their times can be occupied on their phone, when they scroll through their social media feed, take pictures and videos, browse the web, listen to music, play games, fiddling with apps, and more.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media networks out there in the market.

The company knows that most of its users are youngsters, and know that they are inseparable from their phones.

For their well-being, TikTok is introducing features for users that aim to cap video downloads and screen time.

Here, TikTok follows older social media networks, like Instagram and YouTube, that have introduced a similar feature much earlier.

Read: 'Digital Zombies', And How The World Can Fight Or Embrace Them

To limit usage, TikTok starts disabling downloads by default for creators aged 13 to 15.

On top of that, if creators are aged 16 to 17, the app can show a pop-up message before publishing their videos. That in order to let them choose their option for their audience: followers, friends only, or only themselves.

Creators at this age group also have an option to make their videos downloadable.

This move follows TikTok in rolling out restrictions on who can see content from teen accounts, making them visible only to friends or private by default.

Besides the options for downloads, TikTok is also introducing push notification limits at night, which aims to reduce screen time.

For users aged 13 to 15, notifications stop at 9PM, and for teenagers aged 16 to 17, the notifications stop at 10PM.

Notifications will resume the next morning at 8AM.

TikTok also said that new users aged 16-17 will have their direct messages disabled by default. Also, they’ll have to explicitly allow people to message them after signing up.


On its newsroom post, TikTok said that:

"People from all walks of life come to TikTok to be entertained, spark joy in their everyday, and share their creativity with others."

" [...] everyone can find their community on TikTok – and our goal is to foster a safe and welcoming platform for these vibrant, diverse communities."

"TikTok prioritizes and supports the well-being of our community members, with features like Screen Time Management that can be enabled both by account holders or by parents as part of Family Pairing."

"We want to help our younger teens 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. Now, we'll be drawing upon this research to make changes that reduce the time period during which our younger teens can receive push notifications."

"These changes continue to build on our ongoing commitments as there's no finish line when it comes to protecting the safety, privacy, and well-being of our community."