TikTok eyes child safety, sees U.S. ban threat

STORY: TikTok is developing a tool to let parents control what their kids see on the short-video app.

The company announced the move Wednesday (March 1).

It says the tool will allow parents to prevent their teens from seeing content containing certain words or hashtags.

TikTok also announced new features that will help users limit how much time they spend on it.

Accounts belonging to people under the age of 18 will be automatically limited to one hour per day.

Parents will also be allowed to set custom limits for their kids depending on the day of the week.

Development of the parental tool is in the early stages, and TikTok says it will consult with youth and civil society organisations in creating it.

The move comes as Chinese owner ByteDance tried to shore up its image amid mounting scrutiny worldwide.

Recent days have seen TikTok banned from government-owned phones in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.

That’s over concerns the app could be used for spying.

On Wednesday, a U.S. House of Representatives panel voted to give President Joe Biden the power to ban the app altogether.

China has strongly criticised the crackdown, saying Washington is abusing its power to suppress foreign companies.