- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2022

TikTok is giving creators more options on who can see their content with the introduction of an “adults-only’’ feature for live streaming.

The extremely popular media app announced that the adults-only option is primarily a safety feature, to protect children from content that may be inappropriate.

Despite the name, the adults-only feature does not end the company’s ban on sexual activity on the app. The company instead seeks to stop children from viewing comedic content that may be disturbing or inappropriate.

The move comes as social media companies such as Instagram and Twitch have come under fire from parents and legislators for not doing enough to protect the children that use these apps.

“We believe these industry-leading updates can further protect the younger members of our community as they start and build their online presence,” the statement read.

While the app is known mostly for its collection of short and easily digestible videos, the live streaming section of the app has become increasingly popular, both for small and large creators.

Live streams on the platform can range from gaming content to just chatting, similar to streaming giant Twitch.

Users on TikTok need at least 1,000 followers to use the live streaming feature, a major difference from Instagram and Facebook, which both let users go live no matter how many followers they have.

TikTok is also increasing the age requirement to use the live streaming feature from 16 to 18 years or older.

The chat feature of the live stream, which lets viewers directly communicate with the streamer, is also getting more options for safety purposes, according to the company.

The new chat policy will generate tags for creators based on their stream to determine whether it is safe for all ages or needs to be restricted to adults-only.

The new age-related rules will go into effect on Nov. 23.

• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at vcockayne@washingtontimes.com.

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