TikTok to introduce adults-only option for live broadcasts

·2 min read

TikTok is introducing an adults-only option that allows users to block children from viewing their live streams.

Creators will be able to choose if they only want to reach over-18s when broadcasting, and TikTok says the option will arrive in the coming weeks.

TikTok cites comedy routines as an example of something that might not be suitable for minors, or if a host wants to discuss a "difficult life experience".

"We want our community to make the most of the opportunities LIVE can bring without compromising on safety," said TikTok.

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

The option for adults-only streams is one of several safety features being introduced to TikTok's live tab, which comes amid heightened scrutiny on how social media platforms can better protect children.

But don't think this is TikTok laying the groundwork to take on adult subscription platform OnlyFans, as sexually explicit content remains banned.

Campaigns to improve 'negative effects of online content'

Last week, the coroner in the inquest of Molly Russell wrote to social media firms and ministers, urging them to take action against harmful online content.

Molly, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from northwest London, was found dead in her bedroom in November 2017 after viewing suicide and self-harm content online, prompting her family to campaign for better internet safety.

At the inquest, the coroner concluded Molly died while suffering from the "negative effects of online content".

Read more:
Prince William calls for improved online safety
Molly Russell's death must mark watershed moment

While most engage with TikTok by scrolling through an endless treadmill of short videos, live broadcasts are also becoming increasingly popular.

In the live section of the app you will see tens of thousands of people tuned in to watch anything from video games, feeds of airport runways, news channels, to Q&As and other such shows encouraging audience interaction.

Users need 1,000 followers to go live.

What else is TikTok doing to improve safety?

From 23 November, the minimum age to go live on TikTok will rise from 16 to 18 (the age requirement to make an account is 13).

TikTok is also updating the keyword filtering tool currently available for live streams, designed to let creators limit comments they feel are inappropriate.

The update will prompt them to update their filters with suggested keywords.