Since the beginning of February, the social network has blocked more than half a million Italian accounts suspected of not respecting the minimum age limit of 13 years.
The case dates back to last January, when Antonella, 10-year-old Italian internet user dies after taking part in the “headscarf game” on the TikTok social network. The Authority for the protection of personal data (DPA) then attacks the social network to block “Users whose age has not been established with absolute security”. It must be said that the legal age to register on the Chinese platform is officially 13 years, but that for Antonella, as for many, the company does not always take the trouble to verify this legal minimum.
Between February 9 and April 21, more than 12.5 million Italian users who have been screened by the platform. The latter had to confirm that they were over 13 years old, otherwise their account would be deleted. According to the Italian Regulatory Authority, more than 500,000 accounts have been banned from the Chinese platform. Among them, 400,000 spontaneously declared to be under 13 years old, while 140,000 were identified as suspects by the DPA, which implemented “A combination of moderation and postponement tools” within the application.
TikTok revises its copy for minors
For several months now, TikTok has embarked on a campaign to improve the supervision of minors on its platform. After having revised upwards the privacy settings of its youngest users, the social network also unveiled several new measures intended to guarantee the safety of the youngest, particularly in the face of online harassment. At the beginning of March, the company notably called on European associations to inaugurate a moderation advice for minors.