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TikTok to make all under-16 accounts private

By Hilary Kimuyu January 15th, 2021 1 min read

Popular social media platform TikTok users aged under 16 will have their accounts automatically set to private, as the app introduces a series of measures to improve child safety.

On Wednesday, TikTok said that it is updating the default settings for users aged 13 to 15, limiting who can see and comment on their videos.

“Only users who they add as friends will be able to view their videos, and their accounts won’t be suggested to other users,” they said in a statement.

TikTok said it hoped the changes would encourage young users to “actively engage in their online privacy journey”.

“We hope to inspire them to take an active role and make informed decisions,” it added.

The accounts of 16 and 17-year-olds will prevent others downloading their videos, but the youngsters will have the ability to turn off this restriction.

In addition, TikTok  added that the app’s Duet and Stitch features, which allow users to repost and respond to another person’s video, will be disabled for videos posed by users under 16.

The ability to download videos of users under that age is also being disabled.

TikTok has been gradually adding more privacy controls for teenagers’ accounts over the past year.

In 2020, the app started allowing parents to remotely set restrictions on a child’s account and later began allowing parents to tweak their kid’s private settings, too.

TikTok also previously disabled direct messaging for users under 16.