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TikTok: Children

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 24235, tabled on 29 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of children using live streaming services on TikTok to solicit in-app virtual gifts or donations in exchange for content.

Answered on

6 July 2021

We recognise the serious risks that children face online, including through the use of functionalities such as live streaming. The draft Online Safety Bill, published in May 2021, will ensure companies design their platforms to be safer for users.

The strongest protections in the legislation are for children. Unless services in scope are able to prove that children are not accessing their service, they will need to conduct a child safety risk assessment and provide safety measures for child users, keeping these under regular review.. Companies will also need to assess how the design and operation of the service, including functionalities such as instream payments and live-streaming, may increase or reduce the risks identified.

In addition, the UK’s regulatory regime for video sharing platforms requires UK-established video sharing platforms to take appropriate measures to protect under-18s from harmful material, TikTok is in scope of these requirements. Ofcom is working with UK-established video sharing platforms to help them understand their duties under this regime and will be able to take enforcement action against platforms that do not comply.

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