Whether you are pro or anti TikTok, there’s no denying its presence. The platform has become a global phenomena and a medium of expression for people from all walks of life, especially teenagers and people towards the latter end of the age bracket. Thus, TikTok recently announced its ‘Family Safety Mode’, which will debut in U.K. for the time being, to fulfill its accountability towards spread of age-inappropriate content and hate speech. With this feature, parents will be able to heave a sigh of relief, with the assurity that their young ones are not being exposed to anything they should not have.
The new feature houses different options and functionalities, from screen time management controls to limiting direct messages and a dedicated restricted mode that limits the appearance of inappropriate content. We say limit because the best bet is this feature will rely on the wide consumer base and filter out content that has been flagged or marked inappropriate by lots of users, thus not being foolproof.
To elaborate a little on the functionalities, TikTok will allow parents(who have an account for themselves as well) to limit the amount of time their child can spend on the app, turn direct messages on or off from certain people, and turn on the restricted mode to filter out content that the app will deem inappropriate.
While the feature has been welcomed by parents all over, it gives parents just a fraction of the control that individuals already have on their accounts. Along with the features mentioned above, the users already had the capability to choose to make their accounts private, turn off comments for their posts and control who is allowed to duet with them. These are just a few examples of the customisation that users can avail on the app, as there are many others that we have not mentioned.
TikTok has had its share of hacks and leaks. A while back, it was reported that a security flaw in the app exposed user data to hackers. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. reported a series of vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to manipulate user accounts and information, from revealing personal data and deleting videos to sending text messages on behalf of TikTok. This report came at the worst time for the company, who had already been facing heavy scrutiny from the U.S. government for suspicions of colluding with the Chinese government.
Still, the app is on the rise and has taken the social media market by storm. The chinese version of the app, Douyin, reached 400 million daily users in January 2020, proving its mettle in its homeland and abroad.