UK's New Guidelines Could Stop Children from Being Additcted to TikTok

TikTok Logo on an iPhone screen in front of a breaking wall
Credit: StealthOptional / TikTok

TikTok Logo on an iPhone screen in front of a breaking wall
Credit: StealthOptional / TikTok

With plenty of social media giants facing scrutiny in recent memory, such as the likes of TikTok facing a ban in the US, or Zuckerberg's Meta (originally, Facebook Inc.), it's no surprise that the UK is trying to enforce some new guidelines too. In a recent News Centre piece, the UK's media regulatory service has laid out some potential guidelines that could help children addicted to social media.

While many adults are also partaking in TikTok Markiplier filters or TikTok 'They Saw My Scrootnoo' trends, there's no doubt that the majority of users on TikTok and similar social media platforms are those below 18, including young teens and even children. In an attempt to fight the algorithms, which can spread violent, sexual, and suicidal content to younger audiences, OFCOM has set out some potential guidelines.

On Wednesday, OFCOM has proposed over 40 new guidelines in an attempt to combat toxic algorithms to protect children. In the news, whcih was shared via the OFCOM's News Centre, the Online Safety Act will request that tech giants and social media platforms will need to "introduce robust age-checks to prevent children seeing harmful content such as suicide, self-harm and pornography."

Some specific mentions include the aforementioned content, as well as eating disorders, and the apps and platforms will also need to minimise bullying and promotions for dangerous challenges. These have been a plague on social media for years now, including the mysterious and painfully dangerous Blue Whale challenge a few years back.

By breaking the act, tech giants will face fines of £18 million (or roughly $22.4 million), or 10% of global revenue, whichever is greater. Considering TikTok, Meta, and search engines like Google make billions, 10 percent of revenue is a lot of money.

Considering the US' ban on TikTok, as well as issues with privacy like Meta sharing private messages with Netflix, it's no surprise that the UK is planning to minimise social media algorithms' power over children. Hopefully, this will also help kids be less addicted to platforms like TikTok too.

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