Other changes include requiring users between the ages 16 and 17 to actively switch their settings to enable direct messaging. Those under 16 don’t have access to direct messages.
“We want to help teens make active decisions about their privacy settings, so when someone aged 16-17 joins TikTok, their direct messaging setting will now be set to ‘no one’ by default,” the company said in a statement. “Existing accounts … will receive a prompt asking them to review and confirm their privacy settings the next time they use this feature. “
In addition to messaging, users under age 16 who are trying to publish their first video will get a pop-up message to help them better understand their privacy options. They won’t be able to publish the video without selecting who will be allowed to see it.
TikTok says it’s working with teens, community organizations and parents to implement more changes that build on safety commitments.
People are required to be at least 13 to create a TikTok account, but it’s unclear how the company verifies users’ ages.
“We also use other information as provided by our users, such as keywords and in-app reports from our community, to help surface potential underage accounts,” it said. “When our safety team believes that an account may belong to an underage person, the account will be suspended.”