TikTok recently listed a series of measures to improve the safety and privacy of teenagers on its platform. Perhaps the most interesting of all the changes is the change in its attitude towards push notifications. According to TikTok, it hopes to help teenagers develop a healthier attitude towards social media so as not to affect their sleep. The company is taking seriously the recommendations of pediatric experts and youth welfare advocates.
The company’s new notification laws say that if users are 13-15 years old, TikTok will stop sending push notifications after 9 pm. Furthermore, users between the ages of 16-17 will stop receiving notifications at 10 pm. The hope of the company is that it will not keep these young users awake. They will not have to respond to every pop-up notification at these late hours.
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In addition, another change that TikTok is introducing is to allow 16 to 17 year olds to understand how downloading works. By default, the option to download videos for teen users is not active. However, users can manually activate this feature. Before allowing others to download videos, users must confirm their choice. For users under the age of 16, the option to allow others to download their videos is completely disabled and cannot be turned on. In addition, when teenagers under the age of 16 go to post a video, they will see a pop-up window asking who should be allowed to watch the video. These features hope to protect the user from harmful content and public view.
TikTok disables private messages by default
Finally, TikTok has disables private messages for users aged 16-17 by default, although they can activate this feature manually. This new default value builds on the previous change, which completely prohibits private messaging from accounts under 16 years old.
The changes introduced by TikTok should, to a certain extent, address the research findings showing that young people feel the pressure of social media more than older folks. Ofcom reports that 66% of boys feel the pressure of increasing popularity, and 75% of girls feel the pressure from social media.
TikTok has been at the hub of controversies for a very long time. There have been reports that the company does not do enough to protect its user’s privacy. The company has been in and out of court and it is now taking some relevant steps. In addition to several account bans, the company is now focusing on its young users. According to executives of the social media app, it is doing all it can to protect its young users.