Well-known video sharing platform TikTok is launching a new Family Pairing feature in South Africa today. The feature allows parents to customise the settings on their teen’s device.
The first of this new feature was released in April 2020 and included the below:
Parents could control how much time their children spend on TikTok per day. According to TikTok creator Simone Skosana, parents have the option of choosing between 30, 60, and 120 minutes. Families can, however, customise and choose the time they decide would best fit their family needs.
Parents can restrict certain content that they think is inappropriate for their child’s age.
Here, parents can decide who can DM their teen, or completely switch off the DM option.
Parents can choose whether or not their children can have access to search for content on the application.
The comment functionality can be managed and parents and teens can choose whether comments should come from everyone, friends, or no one at all.
When a teen creates an account, it is automatically public and parents and teens now have the choice of making it private.
Now, teens and parents can choose whether or not people can view their teen’s liked videos.
When asked why TikTok created this feature, Simone says that TikTok is “continuously working to provide a safe platform for teens and users in general. It’s important for them to ensure that “everyone has a positive experience on the platform,” she says.
“While the internet provides us with many amazing opportunities to connect to others and learn about new things, we’re committed to helping facilitate important conversations within families about internet safety,” said Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager, Africa.
The safety of young people online should be a constant priority for app developers and platform owners. The effect and influence they have on teens, in particular, is immense and it is crucial that the right security features are put in place on any platform a child is on.
“We all need to apply the same cautions online as we would in real life, and having an enjoyable experience on TikTok starts with understanding the tools and controls parents and teens can access to remain safe,” Sidwaba says.
The rate of teen suicides is on the rise globally, and social media is a direct contributor to his phenomenon. Cyberbullying, sexual solicitation, and child pornography are some of the realities faced by teens online.
Karabo Mokoena is a wife, a girl mom, a writer and content creator. She is the Resident Contributor for Parenty and a Mommy Blogger, creating relatable parenting content for her blog Black Mom Chronicles. You can engage with her on her Instagram and Facebook pages. She is a Political Science graduate, who has worked in Human Resources for most of her professional career. She loves engaging with people, thus her choice to specialise in recruitment. She loves telling stories and sharing her life’s journey to brighten someone else’s day