TikTok reveal tools to screen mature or ‘problematic’ content
TikTok released a number of updates on Wednesday that aim to help users modify their watching selections and block out material that may be troublesome or too mature for younger users. This comes amid growing concern about the possible dangers that social media can do to children. TikTok launched these updates in response to the growing concern of users.
According to Cormac Keenan, the company’s head of trust and safety, the short-form video app is changing its viewing experience so that users will now encounter less videos about themes that “may be good as a single video but potentially hazardous if viewed again.” When asked for examples, Keenan suggested themes including dieting, intense fitness, and sadness.
Instagram, a competitor of TikTok, has in the past attempted to block access for teens to particular adverts for weight reduction items. This was done in an effort to prevent teenagers from being exposed to potentially harmful content.
A new system for organizing content based on thematic maturity, similar to the ratings systems used in film and television, is being rolled out by TikTok as well. With the introduction of a “maturity score” for videos that are suspected of having mature or difficult subjects, new protections have been implemented.
According to Keenan, the end goal is to: “to help prevent content with overtly mature themes from reaching audiences between ages 13-17.”
A Facebook whistleblower reignited concerns about the influence social media platforms have on their youngest users, so senators quizzed executives from TikTok, YouTube, and Snap late last year about the actions they were doing to protect teenagers online.
In addition, a group of state attorneys general began an investigation into the influence of TikTok on American youth earlier this year. Earlier this year, TikTok released a statement stating that it restricts its features by age, provides tools and services to parents, and builds its policies with the well-being of young people in mind.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Keenen stated that the firm is “focused on further safeguarding the teen experience” and would be adding additional capabilities to enable more extensive content screening options in the coming weeks.