TikTok Korea launches campaign to keep teens safe online
TikTok launched a campaign to raise awareness on online safety for teenagers in Korea on March 21, following the ongoing investigation in the United States over its potential harms to teens.
TikTok Korea, the local unit of the short video-sharing app made by Beijing-based ByteDance, declared March 21 through 25 as youth protection awareness week and held an online seminar on media literacy and online youth safety.
During the online seminar Thursday, TikTok Korea said that it is focusing on creating a safe environment for teenagers through multiple safety measures such as removing inappropriate content.
The seminar took place while the company came under a state investigation in the United States since March 2 on whether the popular social media app is violating state consumer protection laws, posing harm to the mental and physical health of children.
“With the goal of ‘inspiring creativity and bringing joy,’ we are focusing on creating a safer digital environment for teenage users,” said Ryu Dong-geun, managing director of public policy at TikTok Korea.
TikTok is removing video content that involves child abuse, crime against children and psychological and physical violence, which may cause harm to younger users.
“We deleted over 91 million videos violating community guidelines in the third quarter last year,” said Ryu.
Among the deleted videos, 95.1 percent were removed before a user made a violation report, and 88.8 percent were blocked before anyone could be exposed to the harmful content. Those deleted within 24 hours of being uploaded accounted for 93.9 percent, according to the company.
The app is also taking measures to make sure it does not recommend inappropriate videos to younger users.
The minimum age for a TikTok user in Korea is 14. Content uploaded by users under the age of 16 is inaccessible to the public unless the uploader gives their permission.
Moreover, users under 16 cannot use the direct messaging feature; an effort to prevent them from being exposed to harmful content through private communications. The livestreaming function is also deactivated for users younger than 16.
There is an in-app “safety pairing” feature as well, which allows parents and teenagers to customize their safety settings, said TikTok Korea.
BY LEE SEUNG-HO, SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]