In a welcome move for the safety and privacy protection of the app’s youthful users, TikTok has officially changed the default privacy setting for all registered accounts ages 13-15 to private.
As reported by The Express Tribune, the Chinese social media platform wants its young users to make informed choices about what they share and with whom. In a public post on its website, TikTok stressed that it wanted to enable its younger users to make “more deliberate decisions” about their online privacy as early in their online journey as possible.
“With a private TikTok account, only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy,” the company said in its post.
Aside from making under-16 accounts private by default, the following are some of the other changes TikTok is introducing in order to make the platform a safer space for children and young teens:
- Tightening the options for commenting on videos created by those ages 13-15. These users can now choose between Friends or No One for their account; the Everyone comment setting is being removed.
- Changing Duet and Stitch settings to now make these features available on content created by users age 16 and over only. For users ages 16-17, the default setting for Duet and Stitch will now be set to Friends.
- Allowing downloads of videos that have been created by users 16 and over only. Other users can decide whether they want to allow downloads of their videos, though for users ages 16-17 the default setting will now be changed to Off unless they decide to enable it.
- Setting “Suggest your account to others” to Off by default for users ages 13-15.
Back in April 2020, TikTok made a similar attempt towards improving the safety of its young users by introducing Family Pairing, a feature that allows parents and caregivers to regulate and oversee their child’s TikTok experience.