Social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular, and with that increased popularity comes increased responsibility to protect the safety and privacy of its users, especially young children. Snapchat, Meta's Instagram, and ByteDance's TikTok all require users to be at least 13 years old in order to access their platforms. Recent internal data shared with Britain's media regulator Ofcom show that while TikTok has blocked tens of thousands of children, Snapchat has only blocked dozens.
The data from Ofcom shows that in the three months leading up to June 2020, Snapchat removed a total of around 400 children from its platform in Britain. During that same period, TikTok removed more than 55,000. While both platforms have strict age limits and are actively trying to reduce the number of children using their platforms, the data shows that TikTok is being far more successful in this endeavor.
The main reason for this discrepancy is likely due to the fact that Snapchat requires users to submit a form of ID such as a driver's license or a passport, in order to verify their age, while TikTok does not. This means that it is much easier for children to sign up for TikTok than it is for Snapchat.
In addition to this, the data also shows that Snapchat removed around 15,000 accounts of people aged between 13 and 15, which suggests that the platform has a better system in place for identifying and removing underage accounts.
It is clear from the data shared by Ofcom that Snapchat is taking a more active role in removing children from its platform than TikTok. While it is encouraging to see that Snapchat is actively trying to protect the safety and privacy of its users, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that children are not using social media platforms they are too young.
Do you think Snapchat and TikTok are doing enough to protect the privacy and safety of young children? Leave a comment and let us know.