TikTok Executive Explains Algorithm and Social Media Company’s Efforts to Keep Kids Safe

The TikTok video sharing app has grown into a site that covers all aspects of life, from recipes and clothes to trendy challenges.

According to the Pew Research Center, half of American adults under the age of 30 use TIC Tac. In just five short years since its launch in 2016, the Chinese-born app has exploded in popularity.

According to the company, more than a billion users register to scroll every month, many of them children. But there is concerns on what young users see when they scroll down their “for you” page and the impact this has on their mental health.

Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s public policy manager for North America, told “CBS Mornings” the app has “tools in place” that can help moderate the time users spend on the app. and what they see.

“TikTok is about entertainment and bringing joy. You focus on authentic content, uplifting content. But like all entertainment, you want to watch in moderation, and we put in tools, a break video, a screen time management; and tools for parents like family matchmaking to make sure they can have conversations and do what’s right for their families and teens, ”Beckerman said.

Beckerman added that TikTok focuses on age-appropriate experiences and that some features are not available to its younger users.

“Direct messaging, for example, is something very popular with teenagers. But it’s also an area where bad things can happen with indirect messaging. So on TikTok, if you’re under 16, it doesn’t “There is no direct messaging at all. So we” We have proactively implemented a lot of things to ensure a safer experience once on the app, “Beckerman said.

Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal investigated the TikTok algorithm. He programmed dozens of bots, recorded as being between 13 and 15 years old, to see what videos the app’s algorithms would show them. According to the newspaper, hundreds of videos on drug use, eating disorders and recommendations from porn sites have been shown.

Despite thousands of videos labeled as “adults only,” the Wall Street Journal reports that its teenage robots have always found them.

According to TikTok’s terms and conditions, users must be at least 13 years old. Beckerman said there is an additional experience for users under the age of 13 that has additional privacy and security protections designed specifically for this audience. Despite the desire of some children, users under the age of 13 are not allowed to post videos.

“It’s also important for parents to make sure their teens have an age-appropriate experience. We have that. The videos are put together with common sense networks, and we want to have a fun experience for everyone,” Beckerman said.

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