Friday , January 15 2021

Tiktok takes action to protect its youngest users

Paris | Social network Tiktok on Wednesday restricted privacy settings for its users aged 13 to 15, an announcement that comes days after observers accused the platform’s algorithm of promoting access to sexualized videos. featuring minors.

“Starting today, the default privacy settings for all TikTok users between the ages of 13 and 15 will automatically switch to Private mode. Concretely, this means that only subscribers accepted by these users will be able to view their videos, ”said the social network, owned by Chinese ByteDance, in a press release.

Among other “major changes”, TikTok will also restrict the ability to comment on videos of these users to their only “friends”, and prevent their download.

The platform had already in the past removed its messaging tools for users under 16, as well as the ability to broadcast live, and offered like other networks family control procedures.

“These new confidentiality settings are key tools not only to make them aware of good digital practices, especially in terms of protecting their privacy, but also to make them responsible for their use of the Internet”, commented Justine Atlan, Director general of the e-childhood association, cited in the press release.

In a video released at the end of December on YouTube, a videographer called the King of the Rats accused the TikTok algorithm of promoting access to sexualized videos (sexy dances, suggestive positions, staged sexual practices) sometimes including minors, and had shown that it was easy, regardless of age, to have access to illegal content, citing in particular bestiality and scatophilia.

“On the one hand, TikTok broadcasts sexy videos of teenage girls, even children, sometimes bordering on child pornography, to which pedophiles can have access, and on the other hand, the platform exposes these young people to pornographic content”, had denounced the association Les effronté-es in early January, following this investigation.

The association called on TikTok to revise its algorithm, to make its parental control settings more effective and to increase its resources dedicated to moderation of content.

Despite strict rules against all content that sexualizes or exploits children, networks popular with young people like Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube or Instagram are regularly criticized for not sufficiently protecting children from online predators – scandals that are likely to cause harm. tarnish their reputation and deprive them of advertiser revenue.

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