TikTok is extending the hours of its adult swim. The app is letting users restrict their videos so only viewers only the age of 18 can watch.
In a blog post, TikTok announced an expansion of its Content Levels, which group the app’s users by age and restrict the content seen by younger groups. As part of that effort, TikTok is bringing more support to a feature it first launched last year. In October, the app revealed that TikTok Live users over the age of 18 would be able to host streams that are “limited to adults.” Now, a similar feature will be available on standard TikTok videos.
The short-form version of the 18+ barrier is arriving on TikTok now and will be expanded to more users “over the coming weeks.” The app hopes this change will allow users to direct content to “the most appropriate audience.”
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With its adults-only content, TikTok is making its intentions known. It’s not trying to be the next OnlyFans, and simply intends to protect its youngest users. “To be clear: our policies still fully apply to creators who use this feature, and we will remove content which contains nudity and other violations of our Community Guidelines,” reads the company’s blog post. “We regularly educate creators about our policies because it takes a village to create a space where everyone feels welcome and safe.”
The 18+ filter is not the only tactic TikTok is employing as it attempts to make its For You Feeds safe for viewers of all ages. Like its competitor YouTube, it is investing in AI to increase the speed and accuracy with which it moderates its platform. It has also partnered with StopNCII. As that organization’s name implies, its goal is to end the proliferation of all non-consensual intimate imagery.
These efforts are already product results. TikTok noted that its Content Levels prevented teens from seeing 1 million “overtly sexually suggestive” posts during a 30-day period.
TikTok has a powerful ally in its fight to protect social media’s youngest users. President Biden announced a similar mission during his 2022 State of the Union address. Now that TikTok is aligned with the White House on underage security, it can continue pushing for a deal that would solidify its standing in the United States.