TikTok announced on Tuesday that it is adding a content filtering feature to its Family Pairing product, which allows parents to link their accounts to their teens to enable content and privacy controls. Users can use content filtering to exclude videos that contain phrases or hashtags that they do not want to view in their For You or Following feeds.
TikTok claims that adding content filtering to Family Pairing will allow parents to help limit the possibility of their teen “viewing content they may uniquely find jarring.” The official release comes after it was disclosed in March that it was working on this feature.
“To adapt this feature for Family Pairing, we engaged with experts, including the Family Online Safety Institute, on how to strike a balance between enabling families to choose the best experience for their needs while also ensuring we respect young people’s rights to participate in the online world,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Therefore, by default, teens can view the keywords their caregiver has added.”
The keywords that parents enter will add a tailored layer to TikTok’s Content Levels system, which already helps to prevent content with more mature or complicated subjects from reaching audiences aged 13 to 17.
Also, the company announced today that it’ll be launching a global Youth Council later this year to “listen to the experiences of those who directly use our platform and be better positioned to make changes to create the safest possible experience for our community.”
TikTok improved its screen time limitations with more personalized options in March, as well as new default settings for teen accounts and the expansion of Family Pairing with more parental controls. As part of these modifications, the app automatically adjusted every teen’s daily screen time to 60 minutes. When teenagers reach this limit, they are prompted to provide a passcode in order to continue scrolling.
TikTik CEO Shou Zi Chew was questioned about the tool’s inefficiency in a congressional hearing today before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce shortly after introducing this adjustment. The executive was compelled to concede that the company lacked data on how many kids continued to watch above the default time limitations. TikTok showed today that nearly three-quarters of teens prefer to stick to the limit.
TikTok also revealed that over 850,000 teens and their families use Family Pairing to set boundaries and preferences depending on their unique requirements.