TikTok adds 5 new ways to enforce safety for teen users


TikTok has announced five new ways to help keep teens safe on the platform. The new enforcement policies will also make borderline or “suggestive” content ineligible for recommendation into TikTok For You feeds.

What’s new. TikTok is increasing their enforcement of nudity, sexual activity, and sexually explicit content, including content that directs to adult websites or apps for teen users (age 13-17).

1. Enforcing policies on sexually suggestive content

For audiences under age 13, TikTok has policies around content categories that are not eligible for recommendation, including implied nudity, sensual content, and other content that is not suitable. TikTok says that they are continuing to improve the technology that detects these types of posts.

2. Innovating Content Levels

In 2022, TikTok introduced its Content Levels system, which is designed to prevent certain content with more mature or complex themes (such as content containing profanity, adult innuendo, or sexually suggestive content) from reaching audiences between ages 13-17. The additional added steps to that system have helped to prevent those teen accounts from viewing over 1 million overtly sexually suggestive videos in the last 30 days.

3. Automation

TikTok has been investing in machine learning models to improve their consistency and accuracy in detecting sexually explicit, suggestive, or borderline content. TikTok says:

We’re making progress to reduce the prevalence of borderline or suggestive content recommendations overall, and are now launching the next iteration of our borderline suggestive model which we expect to improve detection of such content, therefore creating a more appropriate and comfortable experience for teen account holders.

4. Partnerships

TikTok recently partnered with StopNCII.org, joining forces with Meta and Bumble, to bolster efforts to stop the spread of non-consensual intimate imagery. The collaboration will provide better support for victims, as well as help prevent content identified through our partnership with StopNCII from being posted on the platform.

5. Giving power back to the creators

Audience controls were rolled out last year as a way for creators to restrict their content to accounts over 18 in LIVE. The Audience controls feature has begun rolling out to creators of short-form video and will expand the feature globally over the coming weeks. 

What TikTok says. “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.” 

Dig deeper. You can review the new policies in TikTok’s blog post.

Why we care. The creation and enforcement of new policies are part of their broader push toward increasing safety for teen TikTok users. In the past, TikTok has faced scrutiny from users and the government for not doing more to secure their platform and enforce content policies.

More about TikTok safety:

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Nicole Farley

Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.