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).