TikTok Risks Annoying Teenagers by Offering Parents More Control
Starting April 30, the app will also automatically disable Direct Messages for users under the age of 16.
TikTok is making the internet safer one lip-syncing music video at a time. The popular app this week introduced Family Pairing—a way for parents and teens to customize their privacy settings based on individual needs.
The new feature, rolling out "over the coming weeks," does require guardians to create their own TikTok account (helping the company boost user numbers while promoting security), which links to their child. Once enabled, adults can manage daily screen time, limit (or turn off) direct messages, and restrict the appearance of inappropriate content.
"Family Pairing enhances our suite of safety tools and complements our work to provide greater access to product features as users reach key milestones for digital literacy," Jeff Collins, director of Trust & Safety at TikTok, wrote in a blog announcement. "It is part of our continued work toward providing parents better ability to guide their teen's online experience while allowing time to educate about online safety and digital citizenship."
Though welcome news for mom and dad, I can't imagine youngsters will appreciate the perceived digital manipulation. So, in an effort to assuage teens, TikTok is partnering with some of its trendiest creators to launch short videos encouraging folks to keep tabs on their screen time. "These fun videos use the upbeat tone our users love while offering a suggestion to take a break and do something offline, like read a book," the blog post said.
Not interested in signing up for the social network just to spy on your kids? Even without Family Pairing enabled, parents can activate Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode by visiting TikTok's Digital Wellbeing controls via the in-app settings. Plus, starting April 30, the company will automatically disable Direct Messages for registered accounts if the user is under the age of 16.