More than ever, families are turning to internet platforms like TikTok to stay entertained, informed, and connected.
That was, of course, happening before COVID-19, but it has only accelerated since the outbreak began and social distancing brought families closer together. The embrace of platforms like TikTok is providing families with joint tools to express their creativity, share their stories, and show support for their communities.
With families in mind the company took a number of steps over the past year to improve and enhance the teams, policies, controls, and educational resources.
The policies now are more transparent and accessible, trustworthy and safe, built upon the resources in their Safety Center, and partnered with leading online safety organizations including the Family Online Safety Institute, ConnectSafely, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the PTA.
TikTok is advancing its commitment to building for the safety of the users by introducing Family Pairing, which allows parents and teens to customize their safety settings based on individual needs.
Family Pairing enhances the suite of safety tools and complements the work to provide greater access to product features as users reach key milestones for digital literacy. It is part of the company’s continued work toward providing parents a better ability to guide their teen’s online experience while allowing time to educate about online safety and digital citizenship.
In addition to Family Pairing, TikTok already offers a number of resources to support users on this journey, including educational safety videos and parental guides like the ‘Top Ten Tips for Parents’.
It’s also encouraged that parents talk with their teens about the code of conduct outlined in the Community Guidelines to help them understand what responsible community behavior looks like, how to identify and report content that may be in violation, and what it means to be positive digital community members.
Family Pairing, which will be rolling out over the coming weeks, will allow a parent to link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set controls including:
Screen Time Management
Control how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day. In addition, TikTok has partnered with top creators to make short videos that appear right in the app and encourage users to keep tabs on their screen time. These fun videos use the upbeat tone users love while offering a suggestion to take a break and do something offline, like read a book.
Limit the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Even without Family Pairing enabled, parents can help their teen set Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode by visiting the app’s Digital Wellbeing controls at any time.
Restrict who can send messages to the connected account, or turn off direct messaging completely. With user safety in mind, TikTok has many policies and controls in place for messaging already – for example, only approved followers can message each other, and we don’t allow images or videos to be sent in messages.
Starting April 30, the company will take a step further in this matter and automatically disable Direct Messages for registered accounts under the age of 16.