From setting a 60-minute daily screen time limit to having a new youth-focused section on its community guidelines, social media platform TikTok shared ahead of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday the manifold ways it promotes youth privacy and safety online.
TikTok Outreach & Partnerships Manager KahnJi Weerachaising led a recent panel discussion that detailed the platform’s commitment to creating a safe digital space for its young users. Together with TikTok Philippine Public Policy Head Toff Rada and its Safety Advisory Council member Mona Magno-Veluz, the panel tackled TikTok’s commitment to teen safety and well-being, its local collaborations and partnerships with parallel organizations, and its safety advisory council.
“We regularly involve teens in the conversations we have about online safety, enabling us to listen and be responsive to their needs,” Weerachaising said. She added that TikTok partners with organizations such as Child Rights Coalition Asia and ChildFund Philippines to host safety consultations with Filipino youth.
The platform also acknowledged the online safety issues that have been hounding the youth for years. According to Rada, TikTok implements a “safety by design” approach that protects its community. “We’re dedicated to partnering with families as we share their interests in supporting teens as they start to explore the online world independently,” he said.
Meanwhile, Magno-Veluz, a confessed “history geek” who creates educational content as “Mighty Magulang,” serves as the only Filipino and exclusive content creator on the TikTok Safety Advisory Council for Asia Pacific. “What I bring to the council is pretty a unique perspective on how content creators think, as well as the perspective from the Philippines,” she said.
The panel discussion included a presentation on how TikTok protects the privacy and safety of its younger community members. Here are some of the executions:
TikTok’s younger community members need to wait to use some of the platform’s features. For example, younger users need to be at least 16 years old before they can Duet or Stitch with their content, and at least 18 to host a LIVE or to send or receive Gifts.
Screen time management
Teens on TikTok get extra support as they develop their digital habits, including a 60-minute daily screen time limit for accounts under 18 and a weekly recap of their time on TikTok. Accounts ages 13-15 don’t receive push notifications after 9pm, or after 10pm for accounts ages 16-17. Teens can also set a custom schedule to mute notifications.
Partnering for success
TikTok partners with dozens of organizations around the world, including WePROTECT Global Alliance, Internet Watch Foundation and the Technology Coalition. These partners provide the platform with honest feedback and intelligence about emerging risks, helping keep TikTok safe.
TikTok removes content and accounts that violate its Community Guidelines, which people can report in-app. The platform also publishes quarterly data about the volume and nature of content it removes on its Transparency Centre.
TikTok lists over 40,000 safety professionals dedicated to keeping the platform safe. The team includes thousands of moderators around the world to provide 24/7 support to review content that may violate its policies.
These teams are trained to review and take action on content that may violate TikTok’s minor safety policies more broadly. According to data from TikTok, 3.8 million videos were removed in the Philippines between July and September last year for violating its Community Guidelines. Of these, 98 percent were proactively removed, 87 percent were removed before any views, and 95 percent were removed within 24 hours.
“At TikTok, we strive to build not just a safe community but an inclusive space where teens can explore, create, and connect safely,” Rada said. “With our platform safeguards, through close collaboration with our Safety Advisory Council and local partners, and by empowering parents and teens, we’re determined to stay a trusted space where teens can explore the world and have fun.”
Set on Tuesday, February 6, Safer Internet Day champions the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among the youth. The celebration began as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and is now observed in nearly 200 countries and territories worldwide.
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