TikTok strengthens community safety leveraging #SaferTogether initiative

In its tireless efforts to continuously build a safe environment for its community of users, TikTok has launched the #SaferTogether initiative campaign, seen at promoting the innovative, diverse community and the family-friendly culture it has adopted while focusing on user’s protection and safety.

As part of TikTok’s commitment to ensuring safety on the platform, the entertainment platform also announced a partnership with the Data Scientists Network (DSN), an organisation that was established to support and encourage an increase in safety awareness.

“With TikTok’s increased popularity in Nigeria and the upcoming government elections, which typically have a huge online presence, this is a good time to emphasise the importance of online safety. TikTok remains dedicated to creating a safe space for Nigerian creators to thrive by offering a number of tools and controls to help manage their experience on the platform,” Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, director, public policy and government relations, TikTok in Africa, said during the media launch of the #SaferTogether campaign in Lagos on Thursday November 24, 2022.

According to Mgwili-Sibanda, the initiative is the first safety campaign for TikTok in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is aimed at empowering creators, parents, teachers and guardians with knowledge of TikTok’s safety features to ensure a positive in-app experience for all users.

He also reaffirmed that users’ safety is TikTok’s top priority as the platform is committed to promoting a safe and welcoming app environment for its community. “Our in-app safety features help users manage their account, content and privacy settings including who can see, like, or comment on their videos. We regularly work with experts in online security, wellness, and digital literacy, as well as family safety experts, to help provide advice and resources for our community,” Mgwili-Sibanda said.

According to him, this campaign is a promise made by TikTok, which is now being fulfilled, as it regularly engaged various stakeholders since the start of the year, with the goal of understanding its community’s needs for online safety. “This is our way of saying to creators, parents and guardians and the wider stakeholder community that we are purposefully working with the TikTok community to establish a safe space and are committed to making it better, together,” he said.

He further disclosed that the partnership with local organisations like the Data Science Network is to educate teachers, parents and guardians on TikTok safety features of the entertainment platform that boast of an active users of over one billion monthly dedicated to empowering creatives.

Read also: What TikTok new features, policies means for African content creators

Olubayo Adekanmbi, founder and CEO, DSN, said that through the partnership, DSN will conduct in-community workshops with parents, teachers, and guardians in schools in Abuja and Lagos, educating and empowering them to understand the digital world and how they can help young people stay safe online.

“The digital world is our new normal for learning, engagement, and socialisation; hence, the need to make it safer has become our shared responsibility. As practitioners in digital education, we are very excited to promote the new safety features from TikTok and how they guarantee digital wellness and the safety of every child online,” Adekanmbi said.

At TikTok, there is a centralised location for safety updates called the Safety Centre as well as the Guardian’s Guide that provides updated resources available to the community. These resources are also available to parents and guardians.

According to TikTok, parents can enable the ‘Safety Features Family pairing’ feature for extra support and safety by linking their TikTok account to their teens’ and customise privacy settings like screen time, restricting direct messages that may be considered harmful to their teens.

It stated that setting the feature up together with their teenagers will help guide their online experience while allowing time to educate about online safety and digital citizenship. It further disclosed that TikTok is an app for users aged 13 and older that ensures teen safety.

TikTok creators and users are encouraged to visit the Safety Centre to stay up-to-date on the latest TikTok safety initiatives. In addition to this, TikTok hosted a TikTok for Peace Live on November 25, 2022, to further unpack the realities of the internet and how communities can encourage online safety awareness.

The session was hosted by Tijani Aboh Alexander, Nigerian content creator, actor and makeup artist, with Lanre Olagunju, fact-checker editor at The Cable and Babatope Falade-Onikoyi, managing partner at Onikoyi Consulting, as well as Olubayo Adekanmbi, founder and CEO of DSN as guest.

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