TikTok launches 'family safety mode' in UK

TikTok launches 'family safety mode' in UK

TikTok has unveiled 'family safety mode', a new resource that gives parents and guardians the opportunity to moderate what their children can see on the app. 

Adults can link their own TikTok account to their children's and from there, will be able to apply a number of new settings to it. 

Once activated, family safety mode gives access to a number of restrictive features, such as screentime management and direct messaging filtering. Parents and guardians will be able to set a limit as to how long a child can spend using the app or who they can receive messages from. 

The mode also gives a restricted option that'll filter out content unsuitable for young audiences. 

Screentime management was introduced in April last year for users to try and combat the hours they spend scrolling through cat videos. Now, TikTok has partnered with creators to make in-app reminders to switch off now and then. Videos with prompts to put your phone for a bit will appear in the regular feed, in-between the cat videos. 

Safety first

TikTok has been making steady moves to take responsibility for the number of young people nestled in its userbase of over 1.5 billion people. 

Last year, the company settled a $5.7m fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following allegations that it had illegally collected children’s personal information in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

But TikTok isn't the only social app skirting around child protection laws; Instagram only recently began verifying new sign-ups but has not yet made any effort to age-check its existing users. YouTube also received an eye-watering FTC fine for similar offenses and was ordered to re-evaluate how it distributes and monetises content aimed towards children.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.