Trinity Mount Ministries

Thursday, July 14, 2022

TikTok to filter ‘mature or complex’ videos as child safety concerns mount


TikTok said it is rolling out a new feature designed to stop underage users from seeing videos with “mature or complex themes” amid mounting scrutiny over the wildly popular video app’s effect on children

The move comes as TikTok faces wrongful death lawsuits filed earlier this month in California by parents who alleged that their eight and nine year-old children died after trying to recreate “blackout challenge” videos that had been served to them through TikTok.

In an effort to protect underage users from “content with overtly mature themes,” TikTok is introducing a ratings metric the company says is similar to systems used in the film, television and video game industries. 

TikTok will start introducing “maturity scores” in the coming weeks, the company said in a blog post.

     TikTok is cracking down on “mature” content.


“When we detect that a video contains mature or complex themes, for example, fictional scenes that may be too frightening or intense for younger audiences, a maturity score will be allocated to the video to help prevent those under 18 from viewing it across the TikTok experience,” TikTok’s head of trust and safety Cormac Keenan said in a blog post. 

In addition to the maturity score feature, TikTok is introducing another tool for all users that twill allow users to manually block videos with certain words or hashtags from both their “Following” and “For You” feeds. 

For example, vegan users can block videos about dairy or meat recipes, Keenan said. 

Scrutiny of TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, ranges far beyond the “blackout challenge.” 

          An example of TikTok’s new filter tool. 


American lawmakers have raised concerns about TikTok serving videos glorifying eating disorders and self-harm to children suffering from such conditions. They have also questioned whether TikTok shares data with the Chinese government, a practice the company has denied

In addition, consumer protection advocates have raised concerns about the spread of misleading advertisements for sketchy payday loans on TikTok, as exclusively reported by The Post in June. 

Following The Post’s reporting, TikTok banned several of the ads. 

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