TikTok is finally putting measures in place to protect younger audiences from the app’s more mature content.
TikTok has announced in the coming weeks it will be rolling out an early version of its content maturity rating system. It will be called “Content Levels” and is set to help younger users from viewing videos the app deems “inappropriate”. The system will also bring tools that allow users to customize their pages, NBC News reports.
The move doesn’t exactly come out of nowhere as the company indicated back in February that it was looking to move its social media platform towards age-based feed restrictions via TechCrunch. Those changes don’t just affect users viewing the content but also those creating it as content creators will have more control with their own video streams including the ability to use select mute hashtags. The addition to the app won’t change TikTok’s Community Guidelines, but how the company shows content to its users definitely will.
“Within these strict policies, we understand that people may want to avoid certain categories of content based on their personal preferences. For our teenage community members, some content may contain mature or complex themes that may reflect personal experiences or real-world events that are intended for older audiences,” TikTok head of trust and safety, Cormac Keenan said in an announcement.
As for the actual maturity ratings in this new moderation system, well they are similar to ones that industries like film, TV, and gaming use. The difference here though is the company won’t let users see the actual ratings with each video clip on the platform. It’s more of an invisible “maturity score” that is assigned by a TikTok administrator that instead is seen in the company’s backend. As an example, specific clips will be deemed and assigned “too frightening or intense for younger audiences” and for under 18 users won’t show up on their “For You” pages.
“When we detect that a video contains mature or complex themes, for example, fictional scenes that may be too frightening or intense for younger audiences, a maturity score will be allocated to the video to help prevent those under 18 from viewing it across the TikTok experience. We have focused on further safeguarding the teen experience first and in the coming months we plan to add new functionality to provide detailed content filtering options for our entire community so they can enjoy more of what they love.” wrote the company.