By Alexandra Evans, Head of Child Safety Public Policy, Europe
Self-expression and creativity are at the heart of TikTok - they fuel the amazing content our creators produce and push our community to new heights. Creating a safe environment on TikTok is what gives our community the freedom to experiment, to be quirky and authentic. We believe that when we feel safe online, we’re happier to express our true selves.
Safer Internet Day marks a moment in our year when we can come together as a community and shine a light on online safety. For us, online safety is top of mind every day and we wholeheartedly believe in helping our community make informed decisions about their online safety. To celebrate Safer Internet Day, we've teamed up with some of the UK’s biggest creators to show our users how they can use our in-app tools to manage their TikTok experience.
Announcing our partnership with INHOPE
To help keep the TikTok experience one that is safe, joyous and inspiring, we work with external experts who share their knowledge and expertise with us and help inform the work of our Trust and Safety team. Today we're happy to announce that we will be supporting INHOPE, a global network of 47 child protection hotlines, in their endeavour to fight CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) online.
Denton Howard, Executive Director, INHOPE, said:
“Safety is essential to online platforms and we are looking forward to exploring new ways to keep people safe online with the TikTok team.”
We're looking forward to working with INHOPE globally and continuing our work with local partners like Internet Watch Foundation.
Since Safer Internet Day last year, we've supported our community with a range of changes and updates focused on creating a safer environment for everyone but especially under 16s, families and those from minority communities. Here's a look back at some of those changes and updates.
Private accounts for under 16s
As young people start their digital journey, we believe it's important to provide them with age-appropriate privacy settings and controls. That's why the default privacy setting for all registered accounts under the age of 16 on TikTok is private. With a private TikTok account, only someone who the user approves as a follower can view their videos. We want our younger users to be able to make informed choices about what and with whom they choose to share, including whether they want to open their account to public views. By engaging them early in their privacy journey, we can enable them to make more deliberate decisions about their online privacy.
It's important to us that families take time to discuss how teens spend their time on TikTok. Our aim is to strike a balance between safety and autonomy for teenagers as we work to create a safe and supportive place for self-expression. With Family Pairing, parents and caregivers can pair their TikTok account with that of their teenager and help guide their browsing experience. These settings range from deciding who can comment on their videos to whether their teen can search for content in the app and how much time they can spend on TikTok in a day.
Updated Community Guidelines
We recently updated our Community Guidelines, the common code of conduct we require our community to abide by to bolster our policies on bullying and harassment, bolden our staunch opposition to dangerous individuals and organisations and to improve our policies on self-harm and suicide content. We have thousands of people working across the world helping to support the authentic and entertaining TikTok experience that people know and enjoy.
Giving our community the controls to manage their experience
We want everyone in our community to feel empowered to manage their TikTok experience. It’s why we’ve designed a whole host of in-app settings and features – from privacy controls that let users decide who can watch and interact with their content, to easy-to-use reporting tools for anonymously flagging inappropriate videos or behaviours for review. We’re also showing our community how to use these features with tutorials in our Safety Centre.
As a TikTok team we recognise there's no finish line when it comes to safety, which is why for us, every day is Safer Internet Day. Everything we do is geared toward ensuring that TikTok continues to be a place that brings joy to our community and where creativity flourishes all year round.