TikTok has announced new default settings that will be added to user accounts under the age of 18 as part of parental controls, including limiting screen time to 60 minutes per day. The settings can be disabled, but they will be enabled by default when the update arrives.
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“In the coming weeks, every account owned by a user under the age of 18 will automatically have a limit of 60 minutes per day,” TikTok writes in a blog post.
“While there is no generally accepted position on the ‘right’ amount of screen time, or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we consulted current scientific research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital in selecting this limit.”
The rules will be even stricter for children under the age of 13, for whom parents or guardians will need to enter a password to increase the viewing time by 30 minutes each time. If a teen spends more than 100 minutes per day watching TikTok but turns off the setting, they will be prompted to add a time limit to encourage better screen time management.
Along with the time limit, an additional set of parental controls and family tools is also being added, including family pairing features that will expand the screen time tool.
“Couples are an opportunity for parents and teens to collaborate on developing healthy habits online. It’s not parental control, it’s parental involvement and an opportunity for parents and teens to learn from each other,” says ConnectSafely director Larry Magid.