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Esafety Guide: Tik Tok

TikTok, previously known as Musica.ly, is the latest video based social media app that is seeing the largest growth worldwide currently. You can view parental guides to Musical.ly under useful links to the right of this page.

What is Tik Tok - including musical.ly?

Tik Tok is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of people lip-synching to popular songs. It was originally called musical.ly (pronounced MU-zik-lee). Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-synch, sing, dance, or just talk. You can also browse and interact with other users' content, which covers a wide range of topics, songs, and styles.

How safe is Tik Tok - including musical.ly?

Using any social network can be risky, but it's possible for children to safely use the app with adult supervision (and a private account). When you sign up for Tik Tok, your account is public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location information. Parents should make sure to turn on all privacy settings for accounts children are using, so only people you know can interact with your videos or message you on the app.

How does Tik Tok - including musical.ly work?

Tik Tok users sign up with a phone number, an email address, Facebook, or Instagram. Once logged in, you can search popular creators, categories (comedy, animals, sports), and hashtags to find videos. Or you can use your phone contacts or social media followers to find friends already on the app. Many children on Tik Tok like to create videos, but plenty of people don't post themselves -- they just use the app to find and follow content creators.

Is Tik Tok - including musical.ly appropriate for children?

Because of Tik Tok's emphasis on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, so it may not be age-appropriate for children to use on their own. It's also easy to find people wearing revealing clothing and dancing suggestively, although Tik Tok won't let you search for objectionable content such as "sex" or "porn." If you supervise your children and stick to songs you already know from the radio, Tik Tok can be a child-friendly experience.

What age is Tik Tok - including musical.ly recommended for?

Tik Tok requires that users be at least 13 years old to use the app and that anyone under the age of 18 must have approval of a parent or guardian -- but there are plenty of young users. If your child wants to use the app, the account should belong to an adult who can monitor what younger users are browsing and sharing.

How can you make your Tik Tok - including musical.ly account private?

To make your Tik Tok account private, go to your profile page and select the three-dot icon in the top-right corner. Select Privacy and Safety. There, toggle the switch for "Private Account." You can also edit who can send you comments and direct messages, and who can do a duet with you.

How do I delete a Tik Tok - including musical.ly video?

To delete a Tik Tok video that you have posted to your account, select the video you want to delete from your profile. From there, tap the "..." icon in the bottom-right corner and select Delete or the trash can icon. You will be asked if you are sure you want to delete the video. Then it will be removed from your profile.

How can I delete a Tik Tok - including musical.ly account?

To delete a Tik Tok account, go to your profile, then select the "..." icon in the top-right corner. Select Manage My Account. From there, you must add a phone number if you haven't already. This must be a working number, as they will text you a code to verify the number and later to verify deleting the account. Once you've added a phone number, an option at the bottom of the Manage My Account menu will appear, asking, "Thinking about removing your account?" Tap the phrase, which will lead you to a new page prompting you to enter a verification code. Choose "Send Code" to receive a text message with the verification code. Enter the number, then select Continue. You will be given information on what is entailed in deleting the account. Choose Continue once again for a final confirmation that you want to delete your account, then tap Delete Account.

How can I monitor my child's activity on Tik Tok - including musical.ly?

Other than blocked search terms, there's no way to filter out content on Tik Tok, so children using the app on their own might come across age-inappropriate videos. Parents can and should share an account with children under the age of 13. For older children, ask about their favorite video creators and get to know their videos (with or without your child). Also, take the time to regularly look at the most popular songs, videos, and challenges.

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