TikTok finally starts rolling out parental controls, but US will have to wait

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2020 is the year everyone wants to be TikTok famous.
Peace of mind for parents.
Photo: Aaron Yoo/Flickr CC

You can start to feel a little less worried about your kids using TikTok, thanks to new parental controls rolling out today. The app’s latest update gives adults more choice over what their youngsters see — but U.S. users will have to wait.

TikTok has been continually scrutinized for seemingly paying little attention to child safety as it rose to become one of the hottest video sharing apps. It is now taking steps to change that, and to give everyone “the best experience.”

A brand-new Family Safety Mode provides parents and guardians with the tools they need to ensure their kids can’t stumble across anything inappropriate.

TIkTok’s new Family Safety Mode

“Family Safety Mode links a parent’s TikTok account to their teen’s and once enabled, they will be able to control Digital Wellbeing features,” TikTok explains in a new blog post published today.

The feature lets you control how long your teens can spend inside the TikTok app, and gives you the option to limit who can send them direct messages. If you prefer, you now have the option to disable DMs entirely.

You can also “restrict the appearance” of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. The wording of that suggests you may not be able to block it out completely, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.

TechCrunch reports that Family Safety Mode is currently available only in the U.K., which has some of the strictest privacy laws. But we should see it rolling out to other countries, including the U.S., later on.

Keeping users safe

“As part of our commitment to safety, the wellbeing of our users is incredibly important to us,” TikTok added. “We want people to have fun on TikTok, but it’s also important for our community to look after their wellbeing which means having a healthy relationship with online apps and services.”

TikTok will continue to work toward keeping its users safe. It has published a series of “You’re in Control” safety videos that encourage users to take advantage of its privacy controls for better protection.