In a move intended to improve safety for underaged users, TikTok is updating its livestreaming functionality to restrict hosting to users aged 18 or over, according to a release on its website.
TikTok says in the release:
“The foundation of TikTok is built on community trust and safety. To protect our users and creators and support their well-being, we constantly work to evolve the safeguards we put in place. Today, we’re making additional changes and improvements to help our community have the best experience possible when they use Live.”
The policy, which will go into effect November 23, raises the minimum age for hosting a Live broadcast from 16 to 18. This is billed as an extension of the video-sharing platform’s Content Levels, which is intended to protect underaged users from threats of sexual exploitation.
As stated in TikTok’s press release:
“We want our community to make the most of the opportunities Live can bring without compromising on safety. We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence.”
The update comes as TikTok faces hefty fines from the British government for failing to protect children’s privacy. According to investigations, the social media platform could have collected and processed data from children under 13 without appropriate parental consent.
In the United States, a bipartisan group of eight attorneys general has expanded its probe into the impacts of video-sharing on children. The investigation, which began last November, initially only targeted Instagram but has since been expanded to include the Chinese-owned social media site.
Multi-Guest Feature Will Allow Host to Invite Other Participants
The new update also allows hosts to go live with additional participants. Using a grid or panel layout, content creators can now include up to five other users in their livestreams, allowing them to simultaneously engage with the stream’s audience.
Once they have gone live, creators can change various settings on the broadcast, including adding effects, filtering comments, and adding moderators. These features could be helpful for professional influencers seeking to enhance their broadcasts into larger shows and allow any streamer to add friends to a conversation.
Live Hosts Can Now Create Adults-Only Broadcasts
While TikTok will continue to forbid sexually explicit content, it is also creating an option to allow users to host adult-only broadcasts featuring colorful language and mature topics.
In the release, TikTok suggested this could be used for adult-themed comedy or discussions about sensitive and triggering topics.
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