HomeTechnologyTikTok pushes bundle of teen safety measures internationally – TechCrunch

TikTok pushes bundle of teen safety measures internationally – TechCrunch

TikTok is making a promotional push in Europe and Australia round a bundle of safety-focused options, some of which it introduced within the US earlier this month, and which it says are geared toward defending teenage customers from harmful challenges.

The firm stays the goal of a significant consumer protection complaint in the region — which has led to lively monitoring of its policies by the European Commission.

The measures being (re)introduced by TikTok embrace a everlasting in-app information which pushes teenagers to have interaction with a ‘4-step’ course of (aka: “stop, think, decide, act“) earlier than participating in on-line challenges; a devoted coverage class for harmful acts and challenges within the reporting menu to make it simpler for customers to report downside challenges; and devoted safety movies from curated creators being pushed to customers who’re beneath 18 through their ‘For You’ feeds to additional increase consciousness of safety points round challenges.

In a pattern video from the #SaferTogether marketing campaign, TikTok creator @maddylucydann might be seen sketching a state of affairs wherein a medic in an emergency division is determining what to inform the younger affected person who’s been admitted with critical accidents after falling trying to mimic some parkour they noticed in a web-based video however with out having the required expertise to tug off the methods safely — and placing heavy emphasis on making children assume earlier than they try one thing equally foolish.

Also right now, in what appears to be like like a brand new announcement, TikTok mentioned it’s making a monetary contribution to Western Sydney University to help additional analysis into on-line challenges, and sharing analysis knowledge with the college’s Young and Resilient Research Centre to that finish.

It says this knowledge “formed the basis” of an earlier report, authored by Dr. Zoe Hilton and revealed by Praesidio Safeguarding.

“We believe these two contributions will help the Western Sydney University Young and Resilient Research Centre in their interdisciplinary approach to developing evidence-based policies and practices to strengthen the resilience of young people in the digital age,” TikTok mentioned in a weblog submit attributed to Alexandra Evans, its head of safety public coverage, Europe.

The weblog submit additionally quotes Amanda Third, the co-director of the Centre which will probably be benefitting from the platform’s monetary and data-based largess — stating that TikTok’s contribution will “assist it to explore the challenges involved in keeping young people safe online with real world data”; and “help us develop research to inform policies, programs and interventions to minimise the risks and maximise the benefits of the digital age for young people”.

TikTok’s weblog submit doesn’t specify how a lot cash it’s donating to the college — however when requested for the determine the corporate (and Third) informed us it’s 108,420 AUD (circa ~$78k).

The video-sharing platform has been going through months of scrutiny by regulators within the EU following client safety and privateness complaints; and an emergency intervention in Italy final yr associated to considerations over a ‘blackout challenge’ which native media had linked to the demise of a toddler.

In the latter case, TikTok refuted any hyperlink with its platform however ended up removing more than half a million accounts in Italy which it had been unable to confirm didn’t belong to youngsters beneath the age of 13.

We reached out to the Italian knowledge safety authority for an replace on its monitoring of the corporate’s safety measures however on the time of writing it had not responded.

The European client safety umbrella affiliation, BEUC, declined to present an evaluation of the particular measures TikTok has introduced right now — saying it prefers to attend for regulators to weigh in on its considerations.

“We prefer to wait for the assessment by the consumer protection authorities who are following up on our complaints that the video sharing platform is breaking consumer law,” Alexandre Biard, workforce chief for enforcement at BEUC, informed us, including: “We expect the authorities to take measures to make sure the platform respects consumer rights.”

We additionally contacted the Commission asking for a progress replace on its scrutiny of TikTok’s ToS and can replace this report with any response.

Attention to on-line little one safety has been dialling up in a number of jurisdictions lately.

In the US, tech execs from main platforms have been grilled by lawmakers on the problem — which has led to a quantity of payments being proposed, together with most not too long ago the Kids Online Safety Act.

While, elsewhere in Europe, the UK is now implementing a Children’s Code which goals to manage platforms’ design selections and defaults by forcing them to prioritize privateness and safety.

The nation has a lot broader Online Safety legislation within the pipe, too, additionally with a significant deal with little one safety, which can introduce a authorized obligation of care on platforms in direction of customers.

Down beneath, in Australia, there’s one other Online Safety Bill on the slate — launched on the finish of 2021 — which equally places emphasis on tightening the legislation to guard youngsters from cyberbullying and different on-line safety dangers.

So there’s a transparent, world consensus rising round regulating platforms beneath a toddler safety rubric.



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