TikTok is to set a 1 hour limit for users under 18 following years of scrutiny from concerned parents and recent pressure from Washington D.C. over security concerns. In the coming weeks, the app will default to a 1 hour limit for minors and will require a password to continue scrolling. While most teens can easily input a password if they want to continue using the app, the hope is that they will become more conscious of how often they use the app. For children under 13, a parent will need to input a password to permit an additional 30 minutes.
TikTok and other social media platforms have faced scrutiny from lawmakers, parents, and mental health advocates for the unhealthy habits and effects that social media has on children and teens. In addition, lawmakers in Washington are concerned with the app’s connection to China and have banned the app on all government devices. Cormac Keenan, TikTok’s head of trust and safety, said that experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital were consulted when making this decision.
Keenan also announced that if a teen uses the app for more than 100 minutes in a day, they will be prompted to set their own screen time limit. He also announced updates to the app’s Family Pairing feature: parents will now be able to link their account to their teen’s account to set screen time limits, filter certain words or hashtags, and mute notifications from TikTok.