TikTok, with almost up to two billion downloads to this date, is the most popular app among today’s youth all over the world without a doubt. In its essence, TikTok is a video sharing platform that allows its users to watch; share, and create 60-seconds long videos. Its users enjoy various editing tools that can be utilized to create more entertaining, engaging, and creative videos than any other social media network. But, is TikTok safe for kids?
TikTok videos mainly consist of lip-synching, dancing, pranking, and challenge videos. These videos regularly go viral and are attempted by its millions of users every week. Although the most recognized celebrities, politicians, and other prominent figures proudly have somewhat active TikTok accounts; many parents are concerned about their kids’ digital well-being on the platform. As most of TikTok users’ are aged below 24, it is sensible for them to doubt its effect on their loved ones.
What Parents Need to Know About TikTok & Is It Safe For Kids?
If you are not part of Gen Z, you are most likely missing some of the vital features of TikTok, which they love about. It is recommended that you create a TikTok account for free and get familiar with its ever-changing trends.
To investigate TikTok videos from an objective perspective; it is apparent that most of them are quite harmless as they are also created by other young users that only want to entertain their followers with creative videos. That’s being said, TikTok is home to many videos that are considered explicit with profanity and sexuality. Still, many videos can be considered distressingly racist with discriminatory commentary.
Other than that, there are also a couple of online dangers that every parent should be warned about on TikTok or any other social platform while delivering a baby. Then it is up for you to decide whether TikTok is safe for or not.
Although TikTok’s algorithm and human-decision-based filters do not allow any explicit content on the app; there will still be somewhat dangerous stunts or challenges your children might want to try all the time. We strongly advise you to set your children’s’ account to private.
TikTok app’s direct messaging feature does not properly filter out age, sex, or basic location so that every user can directly connect another. In addition to that, users on TikTok can participate in “Duet”s where two users live to chat with each other while their followers and passersby are present.
Cyberbullying is a relatively new term; describing brutal online harassment to make a person sad, scared, angry, or insignificant repeatedly. Unfortunately, on TikTok, there is no 7/24 online feature to block cyberbullying completely; so that your children may encounter cyberbullying on TikTok.
TikTok Parental Controls
As TikTok grows its popularity within younger audiences day by day, it is sensible to use TikTok’s parental controls even if your kid is older than 13. Parental controls on TikTok enable parents to restrict who can watch their kids’ videos and message them using the app’s features.
You can find TikTok parental controls in the TikTok user profile located in the three dots on the upper right corner. A parent should then select “Privacy Settings,” followed by the “Privacy and Safety” section.
In this section, there are varying options for you to decide how you want your children to browse TikTok. Safety settings you can decide on the page are:
- Block other users’ to find the account
- Block other users’ to “Duet” with your children
- Decide who can direct message to your child
- Filter our certain keywords both in posts and comments
- Control who can make comments on your child’s profile
- Set a password to keep the settings
FAQs of Is TikTok Safe for Kids
People of all ages browse and post videos to TikTok every day. So it is very likely that some content on TikTok might not be for your kids. You can keep a closer look.
Yes, there is a kid-friendly version of TikTok that is safe for kids under 13; where they can only view videos curated as appropriate for children by TikTok. They can make their videos but can’t post them while also can’t exchange messages with other users.
If your kid is not using the kid-friendly version of the app; they may be exposed to somewhat inappropriate comments made by other users. So it is recommended for you to switch to a kid-friendly version of the app to avoid comments that contain profanity.
Parents can set time limits, mature filter content, and disable direct messaging for their children. You can use the “Family Pairing” feature of the app to disable direct messaging and filter mature content.
Other than enabling restricted mode on the app; there is not much do to for a parent to filter out content on TikTok. It is recommended that you share a TikTok account with your kid to monitor what your kid is viewing and posting.
Summary of Is TikTok Safe for Kids
To conclude, TikTok is a popular and genuinely loved video sharing platform mostly frequented by younger audiences in almost every region of the world, where the app is open to public use.
It is also a fact that the app sometimes can contain inappropriate content for them, which must be acknowledged by their parents. To solve this problem, parents of TikTok may choose to run a shared account with their children to minimize the risk, or they can utilize TikTok’s built-in parental controls to block any content they find inappropriate.