TikTok commits to safer digital space with online safety webinar

    TikTok recently held an online safety webinar in the country as part of its commitment to continue being a safe and welcoming space for self-expression. The webinar titled Creating a Safe Online Environment for Creative Expression saw resource persons from TikTok, UNICEF, and the Department of Education (DepEd) discuss each sector’s initiatives in maintaining a safe digital space for the community.

    “Safety is a TikTok priority,” said Donny Eryastha, head of public policy for the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. “We encourage our content creators and users to help foster a safer online community. We designed the app with your safety in mind. Our privacy settings enable every user to filter who can view, react, or comment on their posts, as well as to who can duet or download their videos. Take the time to read our Community Guidelines. This will help you better understand the culture of positivity and creativity that we harbor and how you can help maintain a safer community for self-expression.”

    Eryastha presented a brief background on the app’s safety policies and features, and the continuing efforts made to ensure the security of TikTok’s users. He also noted that the app’s safety features can be fully realized if content creators and users actively use it.

    From the Department of Education, child rights senior officer Atty. Gil Anthony Aquino presented the government’s initiatives on digital safety especially now that classes will be shifted online for the school year.

    “Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. It is a strong commitment that we have toward these young minds. Currently, we are bolstering the Child Protection Policy and in the process of consultation with our stakeholders. We welcome organizations and groups who are interested to do collaborations and contributions to our child protection initiatives,” said Aquino.

    Meanwhile, UNICEF child protection specialist Atty. Marj Ardivilla, talked about how everyone can work together to build a safer digital space.  UNICEF has been working to protect children online by increasing public awareness, strengthening investigation and prosecution of online sexual abuse and exploitation cases, and improving the delivery of services in the most vulnerable.

    “Online safety starts with you. During these difficult times, we need to practice empathy. Be kind online. Send positive messages and support your peers. Spread the word about online safety and spark meaningful conversations with your family and friends about this. Support our causes like SaferKidsPH and help keep Filipino kids safe online,” said Ardivilla appealing to the youth. She also shared some best practices that Filipinos can employ to keep their children safe online.

    Rounding out the panelists was host and celebrity content creator Amy Perez who has also become popular on the platform for her dancing videos. Perez shared her digital journey as a content creator and how she was able to help promote safe ways to create and share content through various online platforms.

    “Technology is a tool we can use to our advantage to protect our children. Check the safety and privacy features of the apps that your children are using. Parental controls, like TikTok’s family pairing feature, is a helpful tool in monitoring our kids’ online activities,” said Perez.

    TikTok’s Family Pairing offers parents a set of controls to manage their teens’ Digital Wellbeing. A comprehensive, expanded publication of the Community Guidelines was released in January 2020 to help maintain a supportive and welcoming environment on the platform. On top of these, TikTok provides other resources such as educational safety videos to continue to provide a safer space for creative self-expression.

    TikTok will be announcing more internet safety initiatives in the coming weeks.

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