CHINA App installs parental controls to protect youngsters

CHINA

App installs parental controls to protect youngsters

Global Times

19:47, April 14, 2018

A popular livestreaming app has installed a "parental control mode" to allow families to restrict some of the app's features after it and similar video platforms were required to "purify" their content and strictly manage access by underage netizens. 

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(Photo: VCG)

Kuaishou, a popular social video-sharing app, released a "parent control mode" in order to better protect users under 18 years old, the Global Times learned on Friday.

By turning on the parent mode, the app "only shows contents suitable for minors, restricts them from livestreaming and receiving and sending monetary rewards," Kuaishou app showed.

According to Kuaishou, the platform is gradually filtering content for underage users and will recommend positive and healthy video content to them, Shanghai-based news website thepaper.cn said Friday.

The Global Times found that after initiating the parent mode, users can watch videos related to dance, pets, babysitting and cooking.

"I think the parent mode is useful, because the content should be classified," a mother from Shandong Province told the Global Times. Her 9-year-old son is a fan of Douyin, an app similar to Kuaishou, and found that some content her son watched was not appropriate for his age, such as violence, pornography and smoking.

Last week, Kuaishou said it would hire a 5,000-person team of monitors to "purify" its video content. 

It came after the Cyberspace Administration of China on April 4 ordered two popular livestreaming sites Kuaishou and Toutiao to make changes to their practices. The two companies were accused of allowing minors to spread harmful content, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Since March, 70 online apps caught posting pornography or gambling have been shut down.

The livestreaming platforms had allowed content on underage mothers, that included videos titled "14-year-old gave birth to a son" or "the youngest mom with two children."

Kuaishou on Friday also vowed to refund the cash rewards given by minors, which has been a controversial issue in the past year.

A 16-year-old in Jiangsu Province gifted a video poster 400,000 yuan ($67,000) of her parent's money on livestreaming platforms in September 2017. A 12-year-old boy in Chongqing managed to send a livestreamer online gifts worth 60,000 yuan within five seconds, the China Press and Publishing Journal reported.

The Chinese government is conducting a campaign to manage online video and news platforms.

Zhang Yiming, founder of Jinri Toutiao, one of China's most popular news sharing platforms, apologized on Wednesday, saying the company "overstressed technology, and ignored the fact that technology should be used to guide users' socialist core values, spread positive energy, meet the requirements of the times and respect public order and good custom."

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