TikTok to filter ‘mature or complex’ videos amid child safety

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TikTok said it is rolling out a new feature designed to prevent underage users from watching videos with “mature or complex topics” amid growing scrutiny over the popular video app’s effect on children.

The move comes as TikTok faces wrongful death lawsuits filed earlier this month in California by parents who alleged their eight- and nine-year-old children died after attempting to recreate “blackout challenge” videos that had been delivered to them via Facebook. TikTok.

In an effort to protect underage users from “overtly mature content,” TikTok is introducing a ratings metric that the company says is similar to systems used in the film, television and video game industries. .

TikTok will start introducing “maturity scores” in the coming weeks, the company said in a blog post.

“When we detect that a video contains mature or complex themes, for example, fictional scenes that may be too frightening or intense for younger audiences, a maturity score will be assigned to the video to help prevent it from being viewed by those under the age of 18. TikTok. experience,” TikTok chief trust and safety officer Cormac Keenan said in a blog post.

TikTok is cracking down on “mature” content.
tik tok

In addition to the maturity score feature, TikTok is introducing another tool for all users that will allow them to manually block videos with certain words or hashtags from their “Following” and “For You” feeds.

For example, vegan users can block videos about dairy or meat recipes, Keenan said.

The scrutiny of TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, goes far beyond the “blackout challenge.”

An example of TikTok's new filter tool.
An example of TikTok’s new filter tool.
tik tok

US lawmakers have raised concerns about the posting of TikTok videos that glorify eating disorders and self-harm to children with such conditions. They have also questioned whether TikTok shares data with the Chinese government, a practice the company has denied.

Additionally, consumer protection advocates have raised concerns about the spread of misleading ads for incomplete payday loans on TikTok, as The Post reported in June. Following reports from The Post, TikTok banned several of the ads.

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