The Day

TikTok to set new 60-minute default time limits for minors

- By MICHELLE CHAPMAN AP Business Writer

TikTok said Wednesday that every account held by a user under the age of 18 will have a default 60-minute daily screen time limit in the coming weeks. The changes arrive during a period in which there are growing concerns among different government­s about the app’s security and ability to alter its algorithm to push certain posts.

The update also mirrors gaming rules imposed on minors in China, where TikTok’s parent company ByteDance was formerly based. ByteDance now says it has no headquarte­rs because it is a global business and that instead it has leaders in Singapore, New York and elsewhere managing its business. In 2021, Chinese authoritie­s issued new rules that let minors play online games for only an hour a day and only on Fridays, weekends and public holidays — an effort to curb internet addiction.

In the U.S., families have struggled with limiting the amount of time their children spend on the Chinese-owned video sharing app. According to the Pew Research Center, about two-third of Americans teens use TikTok.

Cormac Keenan, head of trust and safety at TikTok said in a blog post Wednesday that when the 60-minute limit is reached, minors will be prompted to enter a passcode and make an “active decision” to keep watching. For accounts where the user is under the age of 13, a parent or guardian will have to set or enter an existing passcode to allow 30 minutes of extra viewing time once the initial 60-minute limit is reached.

TikTok said it came up with the 60-minute threshold by consulting academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.

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