Popular app TikTok imposes certain restrictions and conditions on children under 13
Experts say children 13 and older are digitally literate enough to be allowed access to social media platforms.
Kevin Morgan, head of trust and safety at TikTok in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said kids start going online at 12-13 years old in secondary school, so whether it’s TikTok or another platform, kids are digitally literate.
This popular social media application imposes certain restrictions and conditions on children under the age of 13 and 16.
“By default, for kids under 16, content can be shared with friends and family, but not necessarily with the wider world. We know the journey, so we shouldn’t be exposing kids to all things. it’s not [a] Prohibited use; it’s really recognizing and making sure the content is appropriate for different age groups,” Morgan said on the sidelines of a panel discussion on TikTok safety and digital well-being.
Hanan Ezzeldin, founder and CEO of The Family Hub, echoed Morgan’s sentiments, saying, “Kids 13 and older should be able to access social media apps and platforms — not younger kids.”
set a time limit
She advises parents to talk to their children before they go online. “You have to have appropriate conversations about what is private, what is something to share, how to be nice and unkind to someone, and if a child sees someone being mean to someone he or she knows, report it to an adult . We have to take all of these steps before parents allow their kids to start using social media,” she said.
Importantly, she stresses that parents should set a time limit, which needs to be adhered to through resistance, as children will not be comfortable with the behavior. “But we have to be there and we have to give them the best support possible,” she added.
However, Kevin Morgan said he wouldn’t necessarily recommend that parents install police-like apps on their phones to monitor them.
“It’s an early conversation. But I do talk to my kids about social media, technology, being online and what it means and the associated risks. We should be having conversations with kids very early,” he added.