By Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety Public Policy, Europe and Tracy Elizabeth, Minor Safety Policy Lead, TikTok
Today, we're announcing that TikTok has joined the Technology Coalition, an organisation that works to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse. Community safety is our top priority, and we place utmost care on the safety of our teenage users in particular. Our membership reflects both TikTok’s zero tolerance of child sexual exploitation and that this global challenge requires a collective response.
Partnering with experts
We're at our strongest when we work together, which is why we're proud to join the Technology Coalition. Through this membership, we hope to deepen our evidence-based approach to intervention and contribute our unique learnings from addressing child safety and exploitation. TikTok is also joining the board of the Technology Coalition along with a number of committees that aim to advance protections for children online and off and drive greater transparency of evolving threats to child safety.
This membership builds on previous partnerships with leading online safety organisations, including the Family Online Safety Institute, ConnectSafely, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), WePROTECT Global Alliance, DQ Institute, and the Internet Watch Foundation to help ensure that our policies and features continue to promote a safe and welcoming environment for our community. TikTok has also endorsed the implementation of the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in an effort to ensure a consistent and strong response to exploitation across services.
Protecting against exploitation
At TikTok, we are deeply committed to the safety of teens on our platform. We do not tolerate content or behavior that perpetuates the abuse, harm, endangerment, or exploitation of minors, as outlined in our Community Guidelines. If we become aware of any such content, we will take immediate action to remove content, terminate accounts, and report cases to NCMEC and law enforcement, as appropriate.
Building for youth safety
TikTok is where people come to express themselves creatively, build a community, and explore new ideas. While our creative community includes teens and grandparents alike, we work to design age-appropriate experiences for those ages 13-17. We offer a number of safeguards to support teens as they begin their digital journey. For instance, accounts of users ages 13-15 are set to private by default, and only people 16 and over can use direct messaging and live stream.
Additionally, we believe it's important to engage parents and caregivers in digital safety conversations. That's why TikTok offers tools, like our Family Pairing features, which aim to encourage conversations among parents, caregivers, and teens as they decide the browsing and privacy settings that are best for their family. Through Family Pairing, parents and guardians can link their TikTok account to their teen's to enable a variety of content and privacy settings, such as screen time management and search settings. TikTok's Safety Centre for Parents provides more information on the resources and controls that are available to families.
There is no finish line when it comes to protecting the TikTok community. We work each day to learn, adapt, and strengthen our policies and practices to keep our community safe, and we look forward to building on all of these efforts through our partnership with the Technology Coalition.