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Thursday January 14, 2021

TikTok takes measures to protect its underage users

The social network, TikTok, announced changes to privacy settings on Wednesday to protect its users between the ages of 13 and 15, days after a number of observers alerted that the platform’s algorithm allows easy access to videos of minors and sexualizes their content.
The social network owned by the Chinese company “ByteDance” stated in a statement that the default privacy settings for all Tik Tok users between the ages of 13 and 15 will automatically switch to private mode, “as of Wednesday”, which means in practice that the videos of these They will only be viewed by their approved followers. “

Among the other “major changes” adopted by “TikTok” was the banning of downloading the videos of these users, and limiting the ability to comment on them to “their friends”.

The platform had previously canceled the messaging tools provided by it for users under the age of 16, as well as the ability to broadcast live, and like other networks, it provided measures for parental control.

The statement quoted the Director General of the Electronic Childhood Society “O-INFANCE” Justin Atlan as saying, “These new privacy settings are essential tools not only to educate (underage users) good digital practices, especially in terms of protecting their privacy, but also to make them act responsibly during their use. Internet”.

In a video clip that was shown at the end of last December on YouTube, a videographer called “King of the Rat” warned that the “TikTok” algorithm allows easy access to videos that have a sexual nature (such as erotic dances, And the sexually suggestive situations and others), which sometimes includes minors, and the photographer showed that it is easy, regardless of age, to access illegal content.

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Following this video, the Association “Les Efronte” warned in early January that TikTok broadcasts “sexy” videos of teenage girls, and even children, which sometimes touch the limits of child pornography, and that child sex exploiters can access. On the other hand, the platform exposes these young people to pornographic content. “

The association called on “TikTok” to review its algorithm to make the parental control settings more effective, calling on it to increase its ability to control content.

In spite of the strict rules against all content that sexualizes children or involves sexual exploitation of them, the networks that are popular with young people such as “Snapchat”, “TikTok”, “YouTube” and “Instagram” are regularly criticized for not taking action. Sufficient to protect children from their online exploiters – scandals that can discredit these networks and deny them ad revenue.

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