TikTok Terms of Service: To Agree or Not To Agree?

Profile photo ofCarolyn Howell, author

Carolyn Howell

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2024

TikTok Tips

Want More Real Tiktok Followers?

When you create an account on TikTok, you signify automatic agreement to the TikTok Terms of Service. Except for lawyers, users rarely actually read these legal documents. Should you bother reading it?

A piece of paper with the words “Terms of Service” printed on it is inserted into a typewriter.

Should I Agree to TikTok’s Terms of Service?

Are you wondering, “Should I agree to TikTok’s Terms of Service?” You automatically agree to the Terms when you access or use the platform’s services. “[…] you confirm that you can form a binding contract with Tiktok, […] accept these Terms, and […] agree to comply with them.” 

Therefore, the question is not whether you should agree with them but whether you want to use TikTok’s services. If you disagree with Tik Tok Terms of Service, you shouldn’t use the platform. Accessing and using the platform is also subject to TikTok’s Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines.

Note that the Terms of Service form a legally binding agreement between you and TikTok. However, users typically skip over a platform’s TOS. Mainstream use of social media has long established what’s proper and what isn’t. 

The terms of service define legal agreements between a service provider and a person who wants to use that service. The TOS mostly serves as a platform’s legal protection against certain liabilities. 

Follow these steps to access the TikTok TOS via the app:

  1. Go to your Profile and tap the three-line icon in the top right. 
  2. Tap Settings and privacy
  3. Under the Support & About section, select Terms and Policies
  4. Tap Terms of Service

The app automatically shows you the TOS for your region. You can also view the TOS for other regions by tapping the Other regions button at the top. 

TikTok Terms of Service Update

Does TikTok modify its TOS? What happens when there are changes to the Terms of Service on TikTok? 

TOS amendments are normal and necessary when conditions related to some of the terms change. The following instances typically require a TikTok Terms of Service update:

  • When TikTok updates the functionality of its services. 
  • When TikTok combines multiple apps or services into a single service or app.
  • When there are regulatory changes in the country or region where TikTok’s services are available.

When the platform updates its TOS, it uses “commercially reasonable efforts to generally notify all users of any material changes.” TikTok usually makes this notification via the platform, but it also recommends that users check the Terms regularly. The TOS page shows the Last Updated date at the top to reflect the Terms’ effective date. 

Continued access or use of TikTok after the effective date of the new Terms “constitutes your acceptance of the new Terms.”

TikTok does not make a notification or announcement regarding any amendments to the TOS prior to their implementation. 

What Are the New TikTok Terms of Service for Its Western Users?

What are the new TikTok Terms of Service for its Western users? In mid-2023, TikTok updated its TOS to align with regional privacy laws in the EU, UK, Switzerland, and the US. The update concerns TikTok’s use of data for ad targeting, specifically those of teenage users. The new TOS also gives users more control over how TikTok uses their personal info.

This latest TOS update specifies the following:

  • TikTok users aged 13 to 15 in the U.S. will no longer see personalized ads based on their off-platform activities. 
  • TikTok users aged 13 to 15 in the EU, UK, and Switzerland will no longer see personalized ads based on their on- and off-platform activities. 

The amendment aligns with the EU Digital Services Act (DSA), which limits the use of data to target young users. For U.S. users, the activity tracking and targeting limits provide better protection for teens. Industry-wide, these changes reflect how TikTok continues to adapt to evolving standards in data use. 

TikTok also rolled out the following app updates:

  • Clear my activity enables users to clear activities that advertisers and businesses may share with TikTok for targeting purposes. 
  • New content transparency labels, including labels for disclosing AI-generated content.
  • Limited Data Use is a feature available to users in the U.S. that aligns with state privacy laws. 

TikTok U.S. Terms of Service Update

The most notable TikTok U.S. Terms of Service update in July 2023 removed the requirement for private arbitration when handling user disputes. The update now requires filing complaints in one of two California courts. 

Additionally, complainants must take legal action within a year of the alleged harm from using the app. Before this update, TikTok did not specify a deadline for dispute settlement. 

Companies prefer private arbitration to settle disputes, as it’s more financially favorable and practical for all parties. However, it has proven to be more costly when lawyers bring consumers’ arbitration claims en masse. 

Most complaints brought against TikTok concern certain features and delivery of content to users

that allegedly cause mental harm to children and teens. However, these complaints are not exclusive to TikTok. 

Hundreds of lawsuits filed on behalf of young users have also been brought against Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. These lawsuits seek product liability claims tied to features on the apps.

TikTok has previously stated that it implements “industry-leading safeguards for young people.” If you have a child who uses TikTok, you can explore the platform’s parental control options via the Family Pairing feature

TikTok is currently in the middle of a legal battle over a potential ban on the platform in the U.S. The U.S. cites privacy concerns and national security concerns as the primary reasons for the TikTok Ban Bill

Breaking Barriers Without Breaking Rules

Don’t compromise the connections you’ve established within your community for the possibility of going viral if it involves stepping over the line. You can always rely on these solid connections for consistent engagement.

On the other hand, going viral with inappropriate content can quickly close the door on your TikTok journey. 

As a creator, you may look for new ways to break barriers and stand out on TikTok. Always ensure you’re familiar with the TikTok Terms of Service to maintain a good standing on the platform. 

Find a community that will grow with you. The saying “You’re the company you keep” is probably truest on TikTok than any other platform. If you need help finding the right company, sign up for a High Social plan!

High Social’s advanced, proprietary AI solution works alongside TikTo’s algorithm to deliver your videos to genuinely interested viewers. Instantly connect with audiences eager to be part of your community. Start growing your TikTok today!

TikTok Tips