TikTok doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to protecting its youngest users, and the latest news is just another example of that.
After coming under fire earlier this year for illegally collecting data from users under the age of 13, (which it's now getting sued for) TikTok is getting flak for its virtual gifts policy which allows user of all ages - including dumb babies with their parents' credit card details - to bombard their favourite TikTok 'celebrities' with cash in return for favours that may no be delivered on.
The platform allows users to drum up financial support from their fan base via these gifts, often with the promise of shoutouts, or other levels of interaction that kids today are so thirsty for that they're actually willing to fritter away other people's cash for it. The BBC delved into the problem back in July, and now TikTok seems to agree with the sentiment that young users are being exploited and pressured into sending gifts to their favourite personalities.
"Our updated policy will only allow those aged 18 and over to purchase, send, or receive virtual gifts," said a statement from TikTok.
"We are making these changes to foster a safe environment where users of all ages can enjoy a live-stream without encountering misuse, such as any pressure to send virtual gifts."
The update will be rolling out over the next three weeks and should go some way to preventing this sort of seedy business. Until then, make sure your kid doesn't have access to so much as your piggy bank. The little buggers. [BBC]