TikTok rolls out new privacy features for under 18s

Starting today, TikTok users under 18 will have their accounts set to private-by-default, which means only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. The change is part of a wider package of measures designed to drive higher standards of user privacy and safety.

The additional changes being rolled out today to promote an even safer experience for our younger users include:

  • Tightening the options for commenting on videos created by those ages 13-15. Younger users can now choose between “friends” or “no one,” and the “everyone” comment setting is being removed.
  • Changing Duet and Stitch settings so the broader TikTok community won’t be able to use those features with content created by people under 16, though anyone can Duet and Stitch with eligible content from users over 16. For users aged 16-17, the default setting for these features will now be set to Friends.
  • Removing the ability to download videos created by those under 16. For users ages 16-17, this function will now be set to “off” by default, with the option to allow downloads of videos if a user chooses.
  • Setting “suggest your account to others” to “off” by default for accounts ages 13-15.

Elaine Fox, Head of Privacy, EMEA, said: “The privacy rights and online safety of our community is a top priority for TikTok, and we place a particular emphasis on the privacy and safety of our younger users, which is why we’re making these significant changes.

“We want to encourage our younger users to actively engage in their online privacy journey, and by doing so early we hope to inspire them to take an active role and make informed decisions about their online privacy.”

Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety, Europe, said: “The groundbreaking changes announced today mark the next step in our mission to ensure TikTok is a safe platform for all our users. They build on previous changes we’ve made to promote minor safety, including restricting direct messaging and hosting live streams to accounts 16 and over and enabling parents and caregivers to set guardrails for their teen’s TikTok account through our Family Pairing feature.

“We know there is no finish line when it comes to minor safety, and that is why we are continuously evolving our policies and investing in our technology and human-moderation teams so that TikTok remains a safe place for all our users to express their creativity.”

Strengthening  privacy for youth on TikTok

Parental controls

Learn how to set privacy and safety settings on the TikTok social platform to help your child have a safer experience.
Internet Matters TikTok guide

See guide

Visit TikTok Safety Centre to learn more about it’s educational video series, “You’re in Control” – foster a safe, positive environment where users are in control and can express themselves creatively.

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