TikTok announced that the platform will be expanding its audience controls feature, now allowing creators to restrict their videos to adults-only audiences.
Creators will have the opportunity to restrict under-18 users from viewing their short-form videos if they think it is inappropriate for younger audiences.
This tool, dubbed audience controls, is part of an ongoing effort to further enforce TikTok’s policies prohibiting sexually suggestive content. TikTok’s community guidelines prohibit nudity, sexual activity, and sexually explicit content. Sexually suggestive content is already restricted from appearing in recommendations on FYPs.
Now creators will be able to restrict “borderline” suggestive content that doesn’t violate community guidelines from teenage audiences.
Audience controls were first piloted earlier this year for TikTok LIVE, and the feature is now rolling out to creators for short-form videos. Over the coming weeks it will be made available globally.
In July, TikTok announced a content maturity ranking system that aims at preventing inappropriate content from reaching teenage users. In Friday’s press release TikTok provided an update on its impact: “As we’ve identified content as sexually suggestive or explicit, we’ve prevented teen accounts from viewing over 1 million overtly sexually suggestive videos in the last 30 days alone,” the statement read.
However, TikTok still hasn’t provided any method for verifying the age of users. Currently, you have to be 13 or older to use the full version of the app, but it notably doesn’t verify your age when you sign-up.
TikTok has faced scrutiny from lawmakers, parents, and mental health experts for putting young people at risk at consuming potentially harmful content on their FYPs. “Our goal has always been to make sure our community, especially teens on our platform, have a safe, positive and joyful experience when they come to TikTok,” the company wrote. “We’ve already taken significant strides to help ensure their feeds are full of content that is appropriate for them, and these improvements mark an important next step to meet that goal.”