TikTok is shaking up things a little—the platform has announced that it is increasing the minimum age requirement for livestreaming in the app. TikTok also announced that it is adding a new ‘adults-only’ livestream category, including new keyword filtering options for live comments.
“From November 23, the minimum age will increase from 16 to 18. As we consider the breadth of our global audience, we already take a graduated approach to the features that our community can access based on their age; younger teens need to be aged 16 or older to access Direct Messaging and 18 or older to send virtual gifts or access monetization features.”
The new updates are all about safety, and could have a significant role to play in keeping the platform safe, especially livestream.
The ByteDance-owned company has also launched a new option that will allow broadcasters to restrict their livestreams to ‘adult audiences.’ In a blog post, TikTok said:
“For instance, perhaps a comedy routine is better suited for people over age 18. Or, a host may plan to talk about a difficult life experience and they would feel more comfortable knowing the conversation is limited to adults. We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising on safety.”
In related news, TikTok could be fined $29 million by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office. The fine could come following the outcome of an investigation on allegation that TikTok breached child data laws for a two-year period.
The alleged bridge, according to TechCrunch, occurred between May 2018 and July 2020. The ICO noted that TikTok “may have” processed data of children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
The commission also added that TikTok may have “failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent and easily understood way” and “processed special category data, without legal grounds to do so.”
The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office had initiated an investigation into how TikTok collects private data in 2019. The investigation’s main focus was to unravel whether the Chinese-owned app constitute a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that requires companies to put in place effective measures to protect underage users. It also tried to investigate how TikTok allows children to interact with adults.