TikTok And Greater Parental Control

TikTok has pushed a new safety update to its app that allows parents to take more control of their teenager's accounts, as social media companies come under increasing pressure to make their platforms safer for children. The company announced that its "Family Pairing" feature now enables parents to turn off comments on their children's videos entirely or permit them for friends only. Parents whose accounts are linked to their kids will also be able to set their accounts to private, turn off the search function for content, users, hashtags, or sounds, and limit who can see which videos their children have liked.

TikTok requires children to be over 13 to have an account, but because they do not verify the age, under-13 users often lie about their age. Earlier this year, TikTok banned users under 16 from sending direct messages on its platform, becoming the first social media firm to block private messaging by teens on a worldwide scale. Sam Shead "TikTok's latest safety update allows parents to control their kids' accounts" www.cnbc.com (Nov. 17, 2020).

 

Commentary

Social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter have reputations for being potentially dangerous places for children to spend time. Social media apps as well as messaging apps are the chosen gateway into your home used by predators who are intent on exploiting children for purposes of child pornography or other illegal activities.

Around 20 percent of teenage internet users have been the target of an unwanted sexual solicitation (requests for sexual activities, chat, or information). Moreover, 41 percent of unwanted sexual solicitations, 29 percent of unwanted exposure to sexual materials, and 31 percent of harassment incidents occurred when children were online with their friends. Approximately 89 percent of sexual solicitations of youth were made in chat rooms or through Instant Messaging.

Here are some links to additional information about online child exploitation:

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