The short video app Tiktok turns off private messages for people under 16 years of age. According to the company, it wants to protect children better. Tiktok is one of the most popular apps among teenagers and is considered the social network of the hour. The app has hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
Tiktok’s parent company Bytedance from China said in a statement: “As of April 30, only users aged 16 and over can access the news archive, send and receive new messages.”
In this way, children are to be protected from harassment, somewhat through lewd messages from adults. It is currently “possible to use direct messages in a different way than intended,” says the statement, and further: “The latest step is to protect the younger members of the community.” Direct messages are not directly viewable for the company like public comments. This makes them vulnerable to abuse.
Tiktok allows people over the age of 13 to use the app. Anyone who joins guarantees that they are 18 years of age or older or that they have permission from their legal guardian. Age is not seriously checked by Tiktok.
Teenagers in particular network on Titktok. You may become a victim of stalking or grooming, an attempt to persuade them to engage in sexual activity or to meet adults. That is why Tiktok has recently stated that it has strengthened the protective mechanisms and tried to involve its users’ parents more. This allows parents to link their accounts to their children’s accounts and control some of their account usage and privacy settings.