TikTok Introduces New Parental Controls, Family Pairing Safety Feature
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
Popular short-form video app TikTok introduced new parental controls to restrict usage and direct messaging.
The new feature, called Family Pairing, will allow a parent to link their account to their child’s so they can monitor the content they see.
It’s called restricted mode. When parents turn the feature on, they can “block content ‘that may not be appropriate for all audiences,’” according to Variety.
A TikTok representative elaborated on the new feature saying, “It essentially enables you to limit videos that you might find uncomfortable or unsuitable for yourself or your kids.”
The Family Pairing feature will also allow parents to set a screen time limit for how long their child can spend on the app each day.
Finally, the feature lets parents restrict who can send their child direct messages on the app. It even gives them the option to turn off direct messaging completely if the user is 16 or younger.
Common Sense Media reported how many TikTok videos include songs that have foul language in them, along with people wearing revealing clothing. These new features are an effort to combat kids from seeing and listening to videos of this nature.
The Family Pairing parental control first rolled out in the U.K. in February and will be available in the U.S. at the end of April.
Jeff Collins, TikTok’s senior director of trust and safety, said, “We are committed to giving parents insight into, and control over, how their teens use TikTok and helping facilitate important conversations within families about the responsible navigation of digital platforms.”
He added, “We believe these options promote a safer and more trustworthy experience for our users of all ages, but our progress in this area is also never finished.”
While creating new safety features for kids using the app, Collins said TikTok worked with the Family Online Safety Institute, ConnectSafely, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National PTA.
Nathan Monell, National PTA executive director, said the group, “applauds TikTok for listening to parents’ needs, expanding its age-based features, and creating Family Pairing. Supports like these will give families a greater sense of confidence and comfort, and will help them guide their teens to make good decisions online.”
For more information on the new feature, click here to visit TikTok’s website.