TikTok parental controls improved, but kids can override them

New TikTok parental controls allow parents to limit screen-time, restrict content, and limit or switch off direct messaging on the app …

TikTok says the new controls are available through a feature known as Family Pairing.

Family Pairing, which will be rolling out over the coming weeks, will allow a parent to link their TikTok account to their teen’s and set controls including:

Screen Time Management: Control how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day. In addition, TikTok has partnered with top creators to make short videos that appear right in the app and encourage users to keep tabs on their screen time. These fun videos use the upbeat tone our users love while offering a suggestion to take a break and do something offline, like read a book.

Restricted Mode: Limit the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Even without Family Pairing enabled, parents can help their teen set Screen Time Management and Restricted Mode by visiting the app’s Digital Wellbeing controls at any time.

Direct Messages: Restrict who can send messages to the connected account, or turn off direct messaging completely. With user safety in mind, we have many policies and controls in place for messaging already – for example, only approved followers can message each other, and we don’t allow images or videos to be sent in messages. Starting April 30, we will be taking those protections one step further as relates to younger members of our community, and automatically disabling Direct Messages for registered accounts under the age of 16.

Although parents can control all this from their own phone, The Verge reports that there are a couple of snags to the new TikTok parental controls.

Parents will still have to get their kids to agree to have their accounts linked under the new system. To set it up, parents need to scan a QR code inside the digital wellbeing section of their kid’s account. Kids will be able to disable the feature at any time, though there are some roadblocks: parents will receive a notification, and they’ll have a chance to re-link the account in case it was disconnected by accident.

TikTok is also automatically disabling direct messaging for all users under 16, in response to claims that the company was breaking the law by putting children at risk from predators.

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