TikTok blocks under-16s from private messaging

  • Social media app TikTok has announced plans to ban all under-16s from using its private messaging feature, but children may still be able to lie about their ages.

    TikTok has become incredibly popular with the younger generation, with an estimated 13% of 12-15 year olds actively using the app according an Ofcom survey held last year. The social media app allows users to record short videos such as music lipsyncs and comedy routines, which can then be shared and have the potential to go viral across the platform.

    The app's heavy use by children has prompted calls for protections against dangers such as online grooming. This week the app's creator announced that it plans to disable the private messaging feature for any user under 16 years old by the end of April. Any users affected by the change will soon be notified of the change within the app.

    Affected users will still be able to post videos and comments, but will no longer be able to send or receive private messages from anyone, even those they follow. The change has already been criticised as an ineffective measure, as there is currently no age verification system in place. Children may be able to simply lie about their ages to get access to private messaging.

    Source: BBC News

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