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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

TikTok on Wednesday said it removed more than 7 million accounts "from the full TikTok experience” during the first quarter of 2021 for potentially belonging to people under the age of 13.

Why it matters: The disclosure marks the first time the tech giant has revealed the number of accounts it has had to address for possibly belonging to kids and pre-teens.

  • It's been reported that close to one-third of TikTok's daily active users in the U.S. were under 14.

Be smart: The minimum age to use TikTok's full experience is 13-years-old. If users under 13 are using TikTok or posting content without properly disclosing their age, they will be removed.

  • TikTok currently has a dedicated section in its app in the U.S. that includes curated content for children under 13. It doesn't let children under 13 post videos or comments, although some children safety groups argue it can be bypassed by kids who can easily lie about their birth date.
  • TikTok has been pushing to address its under-13 community more aggressively ever since it was forced to pay a $5.7 million fine to the FTC for children's privacy violations in 2019.
  • In January, it introduced a new default privacy settings for teens. Last August, it debuted a new "Family Pairing" feature, which allows parents to control how long their kids spend on the app and who can message them. In November, it added more oversight tools, including allowing parents to control whether or not teens can search for content.

By the numbers: TikTok said that the 7 million+ accounts it removed for potentially belonging to a person under 13 make up more than half of the 11 million+ accounts that it removed for violating its community standards policies.

  • When it comes to content, TikTok said that it removed 61,951,327 videos globally for violating its terms in Q1, amounting to less than 1% of all videos uploaded on the platform. A majority of videos (91.3%) were identified and removed before a user reported them.
  • Most video removals came from the U.S., Followed by Pakistan, Brazil and Russia. the most prevalent policy violation for videos removed was minor safety, followed by illegal activities and regulated goods, adult nudity and sexual activities, harassment and bullying and violent and graphic content.

The company also debuted its first-ever security overview on its “global bug bounty program,” a program in which TikTok compensates users or people outside the company for reporting bugs.

  • TikTok disclosed as part of the bounty program that in Q1, it received 33 valid submissions of bugs and resolved 29 of them. It also says it received and published 8 public disclosure requests.

What’s next: TikTok usually publishes community standards enforcement reports twice per year. But moving forward, it will publish that information on a quarterly basis, while information related to legal requests will continue to be published bi-annually.

Go deeper

OnlyFans to prohibit "sexually explicit" content on platform

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

OnlyFans, an online creator platform known for its adult content, announced Thursday that it will prohibit creators from posting "sexually explicit" content starting in October.

Why it matters: The company, which has been struggling to find outside investors, said it made the decision at the request of its banking and payout partners, though it is unclear how it will decide what content is sexually explicit.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

3 hours ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.