TikTok to filter out ‘mature or complex’ videos amid child safety


TikTok said it was rolling out a new feature designed to prevent underage users from viewing videos with “mature or complex themes” amid growing scrutiny of the popular video app’s effect. on children.

The move comes as TikTok faces wrongful death lawsuits filed earlier this month in California by parents who alleged their eight- and nine-year-old children died after trying to recreate “blackout challenge” videos. that had been served to them via TikTok.

In an effort to protect underage users from “content with obviously mature themes,” TikTok is introducing a rating metric that the company says is similar to systems used in the film, television, and video game industries.

TikTok will begin introducing “maturity scores” in the coming weeks, the company said in a blog post.

“When we detect that a video contains mature or complex themes, for example fictionalized scenes that may be too scary or intense for younger audiences, a maturity score will be assigned to the video to help prevent those under 18 years of viewing it on the TikTok experience,” TikTok Chief Trust and Safety Officer Cormac Keenan said in a blog post.

TikTok is cracking down on “mature” content.

In addition to the Maturity Score feature, TikTok is introducing another tool for all users that will allow users to manually block videos with certain words or hashtags from their “Following” and “For You” feeds.

For example, vegan users can block dairy or meat recipe videos, Keenan said.

The review of TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, goes well beyond the “breakdown challenge”.

An example of TikTok's new filter tool.
An example of TikTok’s new filter tool.

US lawmakers have raised concerns that TikTok is streaming videos glorifying eating disorders and self-harm to children with such conditions. They also questioned whether TikTok shared data with the Chinese government, a practice the company denied.

Additionally, consumer protection advocates have raised concerns about the spread of misleading advertisements for sketchy payday loans on TikTok, as The Post exclusively reported in June. Following reports from The Post, TikTok banned several ads.


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