Unveiling the Hidden Power of TikTok Parental Controls

In the midst of ongoing controversies surrounding TikTok, parents are increasingly seeking ways to enhance oversight and control over their teenagers’ activities on the popular social media platform. While TikTok has faced security concerns, including bans in certain regions, the latest developments offer parents a significant update to its Family Pairing functionality, providing a higher level of control that many users may not even be aware of.

Tackling Security Fears and Parental Concerns TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has encountered security fears, leading to actions such as the UK banning it from government phones. Concerns about cybersecurity and hacking have prompted debates, with the parent company consistently denying any security risks associated with the app. However, parents, particularly those of minors who form a significant user base, are increasingly alarmed by the app’s influence on their children.

TikTok Parental Controls
photo: pixabay

Empowering Parents with Family Pairing – In response to parental concerns, TikTok has introduced various tools over the years to empower parents and enhance the safety of teenagers on the platform. The central hub for these controls is the Family Pairing functionality, enabling parents to connect their accounts with their children’s, granting them the ability to control specific settings remotely. This includes features such as disabling direct messages, setting screen time limits, and activating Restricted mode to filter out potentially inappropriate content. Additionally, TikTok implements automatic content restrictions based on age brackets.

Enhanced Video Filtering for Parents – The latest update to Family Pairing introduces a valuable tool for parents: the ability to filter specific videos on their children’s accounts using keywords. TikTok collaborated with experts, including the Family Online Safety Institute, to strike a balance between empowering families and respecting young people’s rights in the online world. The app now allows parents to filter content based on keywords, providing an additional layer of control over the viewing experience.

Transparency and Trust in Families – In a bid to foster transparency and trust within families, TikTok has chosen to let children see the keywords their parents have filtered. This move, aimed at maintaining open communication, raises the question of whether it might lead to more discussions and disagreements within families regarding what is deemed appropriate conduct.

Setting Up Video Filtering in Family Pairing For parents eager to take advantage of the video filtering feature, the process is straightforward:

  1. In the TikTok app, tap Profile at the bottom.
  2. Tap the Menu button at the top.
  3. Tap Settings and privacy.
  4. Navigate to Content Preferences and select Filter video keywords.
  5. Add keywords and specify the feeds to filter.
  6. Save your settings to confirm.

Parents can filter hashtags directly from videos in the For You or Following feed:

  1. Press and hold on the video or tap the Share button and select Not interested.
  2. Tap Details to view hashtags on the video.
  3. Choose the hashtags to filter.
  4. Confirm your selection by tapping Submit.

To manage filtered keywords:

  1. In the TikTok app, tap Profile at the bottom.
  2. Tap the Menu button at the top.
  3. Navigate to Settings and privacy.
  4. Go to Content Preferences and select Filter video keywords.
  5. Delete or edit keywords as needed.

With these enhanced parental controls, TikTok aims to provide families with the tools they need to create a safer and more controlled online environment for their teens.


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