TikTok said on Wednesday it is developing a tool that will allow parents to prevent their teens from viewing content containing certain words or hashtags on the short-form video app, as the embattled company looks to shore up its public image.
TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, is facing renewed scrutiny worldwide over its proximity to the Chinese government and protection of user data.
The app, wildly popular among younger users, has been banned from government-owned phones in the United States, Canada and other countries due to security concerns.
Like other social media apps, TikTok has also faced criticism for not doing enough to shield teens from inappropriate content.
Development of the parental control feature is in the early stages and the app will consult with parenting, youth and civil society organizations to design the tool, TikTok said.
It also announced new features to help users limit the amount of time they spend on the app. Accounts belonging to users under 18 will automatically have a time limit of one hour per day, and teens will need to enter a passcode to continue using the app, TikTok said in a blog post.
If teens choose to remove the daily limit and scroll TikTok for more than 100 minutes per day, the app will display a prompt encouraging them to set time limits.
Parents will now also be able to set custom time limits for their teens' TikTok usage depending on the day of the week, the company said.
Meanwhile, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee voted on Wednesday along party lines to give President Joe Biden the power to ban Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, in the latest setback for the popular video sharing site.
Lawmakers voted 24 to 16 to approve the measure to grant the administration new powers to ban the ByteDance-owned app — which is used by over 100 million Americans — as well as other apps considered security risks.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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