in partnership withLocal 12 News
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We caught up with Eric Ebenstein, Director of Public Policy for TikTok, to learn more about the entertainment app’s safety controls and anti-bullying guidelines to ensure a safe and fun experience for teens. / Image: TikTok

TikTok's safety controls and anti-bullying guidelines

There's a little something for everyone on TikTok. The entertainment app features short-form videos with everything from recipes and life hacks to helpful how-tos.

"Videos are largely 15 seconds to 60 seconds in length, some are a couple minutes long, set to sounds or popular music," explains Eric Ebenstein, director of public policy for TikTok.

Ebenstein says TikTok allows users to create an account at age 13 with several safety controls automatically built in. "When you're on TikTok, ages 13-15, direct messages are turned off, their profiles are originally restricted to self-view or they can change it to be viewed by friends only."

Those 16 or 17 get a few more features. "You have the option of using direct messaging, but it's default set to ‘off,’” Ebenstein explains.

There are also community anti-bullying guidelines in place to keep all users, regardless of age, safe and enjoying the platform. “TikTok is all about inspiring creativity and creating joy, and you can’t create joy if you’re having an upsetting or unsafe experience,” Ebenstein says. “We encourage all of our creators to create with kindness, and we have a number of features within the app to make that so. TikTok’s community guidelines — the rules of the road -strictly prohibit bullying, hate speech, or other content of that sort."

Click here for TikTok's Guardian Guide and Community Guidelines. Watch the video above as we chat with Ebenstein for more tips and information!