TikTok removes more than 7M accounts of suspected underage users

TikTok removes more than 7M accounts of suspected underage users
© iStock

TikTok removed more than 7 million accounts from suspected underage users in the first three months of the year, according to a transparency report released by the platform. 

The accounts removed for potentially belonging to a person under the age of 13 made up less than 1 percent of all accounts on TikTok, it said. 

The popular video-sharing app has a separate version of TikTok for users under 12 that has additional safety protections in place. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Children’s safety group Common Sense Media, however, warns in a blog post about TikTok that young users are able to bypass those features by entering a false birth date that makes them old enough to access the full TikTok experience. 

TikTok’s additional safety measures for children were put in place after it was charged a $5.7 million fine in 2019 to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it collected personal information from children. At the time, the fine from the app, then called Musical.ly, was the largest penalty ever obtained by the commission in a children's privacy case. 

The more than 7 million accounts removed for suspected age violations were part of more than 11 million accounts the app removed in the first three months of the year for violating its community guidelines, according to the transparency report. 

TikTok said it also prevented more than 71 million accounts from being created through automated means and removed more than 12 million additional videos posted by spam accounts. 

The app said it removed more than 61 million videos globally. 

The U.S. was the country with the largest volume of removed videos, with more than 8.5 million taken down so far this year. The other top four countries with the largest volume of removed videos were Pakistan, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia, based on the transparency report.