TikTok implements time limit for underage users as US government touts ban
Beijing, China - TikTok is implementing new safety features on the platform, including a time limit for all users under the age of 18.
The social media company announced the changes in a news release on Wednesday, which they say will help users "feel in control of their TikTok experience."
Users under the age of 18 will be automatically given a screen time limit of 60 minutes. When the time limit is up, the user can enter a passcode that will allow them to continue using the app. This change is something the company says will force people to "make an active decision to extend that time."
Users under the age of 13 will need a parent or guardian to input the passcode for them after their hour-long time limit is up.
At the end of every week, all users under 18 will be sent a recap of how much time they spent on the app. Users that reach over 100 minutes will be prompted to set a daily limit for themselves.
TikTok and other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have faced scrutiny for years about the effects of excessive use of their apps on young people.
Concerns have also been raised about privacy and cybersecurity, prompting authorities across the US to consider banning the use of TikTok altogether.
TikTok is being banned by institutions across the country
Officials within the US government have been pushing the idea of completely banning the China-based app in the States entirely.
Texas governor Gregg Abbott has been actively leading the charge on the state level. In January, Abbott successfully banned use of the app on government devices and those connected to the WI-FI network at the University of Texas. He has even proposed a statewide ban.
Several colleges around the country followed suit and banned or placed restrictions on using the app, including Northeastern State University, Iowa Public Universities, and the University of Oklahoma.
China recently responded to growing concerns from officials and institutions, advising the US to "seriously respect the principles of market economy and fair competition."
TikTok plans to roll out the new safety features in the "coming weeks."
Cover photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto