TikTok’s Family Pairing Aiding Parents Control Child’s Online Activity

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As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the popular social media platform TikTok is making strides to ensure the safety of its young user base. For several years now, TikTok has been offering a feature called "Family Pairing," which provides parents with a robust set of controls to manage their children’s privacy settings. By linking their accounts to their children’s, parents can limit their child’s screen time, control who views their content, restrict or disable direct messages, and even filter out inappropriate content. This feature, as we described in our 2020 article, is a powerful tool for parents aiming to create a safer online environment for their kids while still allowing them the freedom to explore their interests.

Since the launch of "Family Pairing," TikTok has not been idle. The platform has continued to enhance and expand the feature, introducing new options that further empower parents in their efforts to protect their young users. For instance, the STEM feed prioritizes videos related to science, technology, engineering, and math, providing educational content for teens. Furthermore, screen time management and notification muting options have been added to help parents ensure that their children’s usage remains healthy and balanced. In this article, we will delve into these enhancements and provide a step-by-step guide on setting up "Family Pairing" for those yet to utilize this beneficial feature.


TikTok’s "Family Pairing": A Deep-Dive Into The Feature

TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, has been proactive in ensuring the safety of its young users. For the past few years, the app has been offering a feature called "Family Pairing," which allows parents to control their child’s privacy settings from their own account. This includes setting time limits, managing direct messages, controlling content visibility, and filtering out inappropriate videos using specific words or hashtags.

An Overview of Family Pairing

Introduced a few years ago, TikTok’s "Family Pairing" feature has been enhanced over time to provide a safe environment for young users to explore their interests. This feature is set up by linking the parent’s account to their child’s account. This can be done through the app by navigating to the profile, then to settings and privacy, and finally to Family Pairing. Parents can then manage or view the Family Pairing controls as needed.

STEM Feed and Screen Time Management

TikTok also offers a STEM feed feature that prioritizes science, technology, engineering, and math videos for users interested in these fields. This feature is verified by Common Sense Networks and Poynter for appropriateness and accuracy, and is turned on by default for users under 18.

In terms of screen time management, TikTok has set a one-hour time limit for accounts owned by minors since March last year. If a teen wishes to extend their time, a passcode prompt appears. Parents can also customize screen time limits using the Family Pairing feature and access the Screen Time Dashboard to monitor their teen’s app usage.

Mute Notifications: Ensuring Focus

Another notable feature is the ability to mute notifications. This helps ensure that children remain focused during school and sleep hours. By default, teens between 13 to 15 years old do not receive alerts after 9 p.m., while those between 16 and 17 do not receive them after 10 p.m.

Final Thoughts

TikTok’s "Family Pairing" feature is a commendable effort towards ensuring a safe online environment for young users. The multiple controls it offers parents, from limiting screen time to controlling content visibility, demonstrate TikTok’s commitment to its user’s safety and well-being. The platform’s initiative to continuously enhance this feature signifies its dedication to evolving with its user’s needs. It sets a good example for other social media platforms to follow in prioritizing user safety, especially for their younger audience.

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