TikTok is rolling out a regulatory mechanism for mobile phone-obsessed kids. It is handing out digital wellbeing control to the parents through a new “family safety mode.” It’s a welcome step towards taking care of a child’s digital wellbeing by exercising direct control over safety settings.
With the help of remote monitoring, parents will be able to exercise control on their child’s viewing habits. The mode assists parents to select the content, set up a limit to the incoming messages and set screen time appropriate for their teens. It also includes the option to turn off the “restricted mode” remotely.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to providing users with features and resources to have the best experience on TikTok, we are announcing Family Safety Mode, a new feature to help parents and guardians keep their teens safe on TikTok,” said Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at Tik Tok. She added, “When people use TikTok, we know they expect an experience that is fun, authentic, and safe”
How to set up the “family safety mode” feature in TikTok?
The pre-condition to enable the “Family safety mode” feature is to have TikTok accounts of both the parent and kid. The app should be open in both the devices – parent and teen. The next steps are illustrated to link both the accounts
On the TikTok main screen, the parent should visit own profile and select the privacy and settings tab.
Tap “Digital wellbeing” option which opens further 3 alternatives – screen time management, restricted mode, and family safety mode.
On selection of family safety mode, confirm your role – a parent, or a teen.
The same process needs to be followed in the app open on the child’s phone. Select the role as a teen.
On selection of parent, QR code will flash asking you to link your account with your child’s. The teen account needs to scan the QR code and the account gets interlinked.
With this, the parent is given access to the teen’s account. It also allows the guardian to password-protect specific features.
The accounts can be delinked also but it can only be done from the phone of the parent. Any changes done at the end of the guardian will not get notified on teen’s account. This even includes setting up of controls like blocking direct messages or restricting screen duration.
The feature is available only for the UK audience as of now. But it will have a global rollout in the future.
With the addition of Family Safety Mode, TikTok reminds users to manage screen time. It also shows its commitment towards implementing best onscreen time management practices. TikTok wants its teen user base to exercise best practices of “digital well-being.” Though the move might see a decline in user engagement but the addiction is widespread amongst non-teens also.