25th November, 2022
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Boasting over 1 billion active users monthly, TikTok remains an entertainment platform dedicated to empowering creatives. Lauded for its innovative, diverse community and the family-friendly culture it has espoused, another factor that has led to TikTok’s popularity has been its emphatic focus on user protection and safety.
TikTok’s tireless efforts to continuously build a safe environment for its community is a commitment taken very pensively and has resulted in the launch of the #SaferTogether campaign, which was announced at a media event hosted in Lagos on Thursday evening 24, Novemebr, 2022. This initiative is the first safety campaign for TikTok in Sub-Saharan Africa and aims to empower creators, parents, teachers and guardians with knowledge of TikTok’s safety
features to ensure a positive in-app experience for everyone.
Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Public Policy & Government Relations Director at TikTok in Africa, reaffirms that user safety is TikTok’s top priority as the platform is committed to promoting a safe and welcoming app environment for its community.
“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. This campaign is a promise we made and are now fulfilling, as we regularly engaged various stakeholders this year, with the goal of understanding our community’s needs for online safety. This is our way of saying to creators, parents and guardians and 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.”
Mgwili-Sibanda goes on to explain: “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”.
Furthermore, as part of TikTok’s commitment to ensuring safety on the platform, the entertainment platform is delighted to announce its partnership with the Data Scientists Network (DSN), an organisation that was established to support and encourage an increase in safety awareness. Through this 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.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr Olubayo Adekanmbi, founder and CEO of DSN said: “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”.
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 are resources are also available to parents and guardians. 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 will also be hosting a TikTok for Peace Live on Friday, 25th November to further unpack the realities of the internet and how communities can encourage online safety awareness. The session will be hosted by renowned Nigerian content creator, actor, and make-up artist, Tijani Aboh Alexander (i_am_tjan), and will have Mr. Lanre Olagunju, Fact-checker Editor at The Cable and, Babatope Falade-Onikoyi, Managing Partner at Onikoyi Consulting as well as Dr. Olubayo Adekanmbi, Founder and CEO of DSN tackling dissecting this complex topic.
Notes to editors:
Parents can enable this feature for extra support and safety by linking their TikTok account to their teens’ and customisze privacy settings like screen time, restricting direct messages that may be considered harmful to their teens. Setting this up together with your teen will help guide their online experience while allowing time to educate about online safety and digital citizenship.
• TikTok is an app for users aged 13 and older.
◦ The age-gate measure is available at the sign-up stage before accessing the application.
◦ TikTok also has an app store rating of 12+ which means that parents can simply block it from their teen’s phone by using device-based parental controls if they need to.
• The platform is designed with the safety of minors in mind, some of its features are age-restricted.
• Decide how long you or your child spend on TikTok each day by setting the screen time limit.
• Users will need to enter a passcode to continue using TikTok past the time limit they set.
• Choose a password that’s unique to you and difficult for others to guess.
• To make a strong TikTok password:
◦ Aim for 12 to 15 characters long.
◦ Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
◦ Change your password often. We suggest updating it every 30 days.
Account and video privacy settings
• On TikTok, you can choose whether to have a private account or a public account.
• Decide whether you want to allow comments on videos from everyone, followers only or restrict them altogether. This can be adjusted for each individual video they create
• Set a custom list of keywords that will be automatically blocked from any comments on their videos.
• Review all comments before they appear on content.
TikTok Safety Centre:
• A central hub for all insights, articles, partnerships and other information related to safety and transparency at TikTok.
• The center provides links to various resources and reports, including TikTok’s transparency updates, its platform rules, and an overview of its key pillars for brand safety.