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Strengthening privacy and safety for youth on TikTok

TikTok announces changes for users under the age of 18 aimed at driving higher standards for user privacy and safety by default.

TikTok acknowledges that creativity and expression are personal and so is privacy. That’s why the platform is striving to empower their community with a range of controls to manage their online presence. As young people start their digital journey, TikTok believes it’s important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls. TikTok is announcing changes for users under the age of 18 aimed at driving higher standards for user privacy and safety by default.

Enhanced privacy default settings

TikTok is changing the default privacy setting for all registered accounts ages 13-15 to private. With a private TikTok account, only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. TikTok wants their younger users to be able to make informed choices about their privacy and with whom they choose to share, which includes whether they want to open their account to public views. By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy.

TikTok is rolling out additional changes to promote a safe and positive experience for younger users:

  • Tightening the options for commenting on videos created by those under age 16. These users can now choose between Friends or No One for their account; the Everyone comment setting is being removed.
  • Changing Duet and Stitch settings to now make these features available on content created by users age 16 and over only. For users aged 16-17, the default setting for Duet and Stitch will now be set to Friends.
  • Allowing downloads of videos that have been created by users 16 and over only. Other users can decide whether they want to allow downloads of their videos, though for users aged 16-17 the default setting will now be changed to Off unless they decide to enable it.
  • Setting “Suggest your account to others” to Off by default for users aged 13-15.

Adjusting TikTok’s default setting to support stronger user privacy is a meaningful step forward and demonstrates the platform’s commitment to keeping their younger users safe. These changes build on previous updates to promote youth safety including:

A pioneering approach to privacy

For TikTok, there’s nothing more important than the safety and privacy of their community. The platform regularly publishes Transparency Reports and continues to show experts and policymakers how they operate, moderate and recommend content and secure user data at their Transparency and Accountability Centers. The platform also has a  privacy information section on its Safety Center.

There is no finish line when it comes to protecting users and their privacy, and TikTok’s investment in this important area won’t stop here. The platform will continue to evolve their policies, work closely with regulators and experts in minor safety, and invest in technology and human-moderation teams so that TikTok remains a safe place for everyone to express their creativity.