Parents call on TikTok to enable ‘mirror accounts’ for kids


(NewsNation Now) — TikTok is hugely popular with kids, but the social media platform remains a mystery for many parents. Now some parents are asking TikTok to give them more access to what their kids see on the app. 

A non-profit group called Parents Together penned a petition to TikTok CEO Vanessa Pappas asking the company to create what they call “mirror accounts” for minors. Parents would have access on their own device to see what their kid sees. 

The group says parents should be able to intervene if their child is exposed to content about things like self-harm or white supremacy.

“Parents play a critical role in keeping kids safe from online harms like cyberbullying, sexual predators, and violent or extremist content,” the letter reads. “But parents can’t protect kids if they can’t see what their kids see. TikTok’s recommendation algorithm makes it uniquely difficult for parents to see kids’ feeds. Please, help parents keep kids safe by creating parent mirror accounts — settings that would allow parents to see the same feeds their kids see.”

Recently, pre-teens died in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma after doing something called the blackout challenge. It has been around for years; young people choke themselves to the point of passing out to get a sense of euphoria.

NewsNation reached out to TikTok for comment and hasn’t heard back, and they don’t appear to have a response on their website. 

The app does have some other safety features concerned parents should know about. Last spring they launched family pairing, which allows parents to customize their child’s safety settings. 

Parents can also control how long their child spends on the app, limit content that might be inappropriate, and restrict who can send messages or turn off direct messages altogether.

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