This year, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) added the popular social media platform, TikTok, to its annual Dirty Dozen List. The organization cited a lack of sufficient parental controls as a danger to the safety of minors.
TikTok recently responded by updating the app's safety measures, allowing parents more control in their children's use of the platform. Originally, TikTok's parental control safety settings would reset and revert to default settings every 30 days. TikTok now allows parents to set safety settings indefinitely without an expiration date.
There are several settings that have also been updated:
- Screen Time - This feature allows parents to limit how much time their child spends on TikTok each day.
- Direct Messages - Parents are able to decide who is allowed to directly message their child or choose to turn off direct messaging entirely.
- Restricted Mode - When the app is in restricted mode, it filters content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Despite the new setting, parents should be aware that content deemed appropriate by TikTok administrators may not actually be appropriate for children.
- Account Privacy - Parents are now able to block individual users from contacting their child, control who can view their child's content, filter comments, and even manage their child's Duets at a single video or account-wide level.
While there are still actions that need to be taken, this is a promising step forward by TikTok protecting children that use the app.