Share
News

TikTok Reveals New Feature Targeted Toward Minors - All Parents Should Know About This

Share

TikTok said Wednesday that every account held by a user under the age of 18 will have a default 60-minute daily screen time limit in the coming weeks. The changes arrive during a period in which there are growing concerns among different governments about the app’s security and ability to alter its algorithm to push certain posts.

The update also mirrors gaming rules imposed on minors in China, where TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is based. In 2021, Chinese authorities issued new rules that barred minors from playing online games for more than an hour a day and only on Fridays, weekends and public holidays — an effort to curb internet addiction.

In the U.S., families have struggled with limiting the amount of time their children spend on the Chinese-owned video sharing app. According to the Pew Research Center, about two-third of Americans teens use TikTok.

Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok, said in a blog post Wednesday that when the 60-minute limit is reached, minors will be prompted to enter a passcode and make an “active decision” to keep watching. For accounts where the user is under the age of 13, a parent or guardian will have to set or enter an existing passcode to allow 30 minutes of extra viewing time once the initial 60-minute limit is reached.

TikTok said it came up with the 60-minute threshold by consulting academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Trending:
'As Wild as It Gets': World No. 1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler Detained by Police Shortly Before PGA Championship Tee Time

There have long been concerns about what minors are exposed to on social media and the potential harm it might do. A report released late last year suggested that TikTok’s algorithms are promoting videos about self-harm and eating disorders to vulnerable teens. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook parent Meta, has also faced similar accusations.

Social media algorithms work by identifying topics and content of interest to a user, who is then sent more of the same as a way to maximize their time on the site. But social media critics say the same algorithms that promote content about a particular sports team, hobby or dance craze can send users down a rabbit hole of harmful content.

TikTok also said Wednesday that it will also begin prompting teens to set a daily screen time limit if they opt out of the 60-minute default. The company will send weekly inbox notifications to teen accounts with a screen time recap.

Some of TikTok’s existing safety features for teen accounts include having accounts set to private by default for those between the ages of 13 and 15 and providing direct messaging availability only to those accounts where the user is 16 or older.

Should all social media apps have parental controls?

TikTok announced a number of changes for all users, including the ability to set customized screen time limits for each day of the week and allowing users to set a schedule to mute notifications. The company is also launching a sleep reminder to help people plan when they want to be offline at night. For the sleep feature, users will be able to set a time, and when the time arrives, a pop-up will remind the user that it’s time to log off.

Outside of exorbitant use by some minors, there are growing concern about the app around the world. The European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council have banned TikTok from being installed on official devices.

That follows similar actions taken by the U.S. federal government, Congress and more than half of the 50 U.S. states. Canada has also banned it from government devices.

House Republicans have introduced a bill that will give President Joe Biden the ability to ban the app nationwide, which has faced opposition from some civil liberties organizations who argue such a move would be unconstitutional.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation