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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

TikTok Under Scrutiny for Child Safety

TikTok's age verification practices face scrutiny as an investigation reveals potential loopholes, prompting concerns about child safety on the platform.

TikTok, a prominent social media platform, is now under regulatory scrutiny regarding its safeguards for child users. Reports have revealed that moderators were advised to permit users under the age of 13 to remain on the platform if their accounts claimed parental oversight. This has sparked concerns about TikTok’s dedication to protecting young users and enforcing its minimum age restrictions.

It was also reported that many users openly declared themselves under 13 in their bios, yet were allowed to stay active on TikTok, supposedly managed by parents. The advice was circulated among over 70 moderators responsible for content moderation across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. TikTok’s internal processes for handling suspected underage accounts seem to be bypassed with a mere mention of parental oversight.

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TikTok’s approach to age limits and child safety is under scrutiny from various regulations, including the U.K.’s children’s code and the EU’s Digital Services Act. These regulations mandate platforms to implement measures like parental controls and age verification to protect children from harmful content.

In a related development, the U.K. regulator Ofcom is investigating TikTok over potential inaccuracies in information provided about its Family Pairing system. Ofcom raised concerns about incomplete and inaccurate information, pointing to a potential technical issue. This adds to TikTok’s challenges in maintaining transparency and adherence to regulations, especially concerning child safety and parental controls.

As concerns about TikTok’s practices continue, the platform faces intensified scrutiny from both users and regulators, with questions arising about the effectiveness of its moderation processes and commitment to ensuring a safe environment for users under 18.