TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has committed to invest $2 billion in ensuring the safety of children using the popular video-sharing platform. This announcement comes in anticipation of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focusing on the online safety of children, where executives from prominent social media platforms like TikTok, Meta, X (formerly Twitter), Snap, and Discord are scheduled to testify.
In a bid to prioritize the protection of children on TikTok, Chew is set to unveil detailed plans during the Senate hearing. Reports from Bloomberg indicate that the CEO intends to allocate a significant portion of the funds towards trust and global safety initiatives, utilizing a team of over 40,000 professionals for this purpose.
Among the proposed policies, individuals under the age of 16 will be barred from sending messages on the platform, and videos shared by users in this age group won’t be downloadable. Additionally, these videos won’t be recommended to users not already connected with the content creators. For users aged 17 and under, TikTok plans to implement a pre-set screen time limit of 60 minutes, requiring a password for continued usage beyond this duration.
Chew’s prepared testimony, as reported by Bloomberg, highlights TikTok’s use of specialized technology for reviewing public content. This technology is designed to monitor and filter out prohibited sexual imagery, particularly those involving children. The testimony also reveals the incorporation of third-party applications like PhotoDNA and Take It Down to moderate direct messages on the platform.
The CEO’s commitment to substantial financial investment and the implementation of stringent safety measures underscores TikTok’s dedication to addressing concerns surrounding the well-being of its 170 million users, especially minors. The upcoming Senate hearing will provide a platform for Chew to elaborate on these initiatives and demonstrate TikTok’s commitment to creating a safer online environment for children.