On Safer Internet Day, TikTok has partnered with Cyber Peace Foundation to educate internet users on the various aspects of online safety.
Targeted at young users, short video platform TikTok has launched #SafeHumSafeInternet, an India-specific campaign as part of TikTok’s global #BetterMeBetterInternet initiative, where it is asking its users (mostly teens) to adopt positive online habits, and take simple, yet important actions that can protect them from bad actors, to ensure digital well being.
TikTok has partnered with Cyber Peace Foundation, an NGO and global think tank of cyber security and policy experts, to educate internet users on the various aspects of online safety. As part of the partnership, TikTok has launched 11 posters, which will be distributed amongst an extensive list of schools and colleges pan India. Going forward, it will also do offline events to create awareness amongst the users.
Using the occasion of Safer Internet Day, observed on February 5, TikTok has also launched #SafeHumSafeInternet in-app quizzes, new stickers, creator and celebrity videos on TikTok. Popular Indian celebrities and TikTok users like Arjun Kanungo, Shirley Setia, Neha Kakkar and Tamil TechGuruji, amongst others, also joined the #SafeHumSafeInternet initiative by creating and publishing short videos on TikTok promoting Safer Internet Day, encouraging users to be safe and sharing tips on how users can practice online safety.
Helping users understand safety better in an interactive way, TikTok has also launched an in-app safety quiz in English and Hindi, which will quantify how your online behaviou should be.
“In addition to user education, we at TikTok are continuously working to introduce additional features to promote safety. TikTok’s first of a kind digital wellbeing feature, which limits the time users can spend on the app, is one such example,” said Sandhya Sharma, Director, Public Policy (India), TikTok.
The other measures include privacy settings, filters, in-app reporting, community guidelines and moderation. In a conversation with YourStory, Sandhya said that the company is also looking for more partners to educate users in India about online safety.
It is worth noting that this comes at the time when the Indian government is seriously considering regulations that would require online social media platforms to take down content considered 'unlawful'. The ministry of Electronics and IT proposed changes to India’s Information Technology (IT) Act last December, which would require web platforms with more than five million users to comply with any 'lawful order' to provide information or assistance within 72 hours of receiving it from 'any government'.
On the proposed draft policy, Helena Lersch, Director, Global Public Policy at TikTok said that it is premature to comment on anything that has not been enforced yet, but added, "We want to respect the local laws, and because we respect the country, we are here, and we are upgrading the platform accordingly."
Owned by China's ByteDance, TikTok is applying multi-forked strategies to sync itself with ongoing concerns and discussions on online safety in India. TikTok (earlier known as Musical.ly) is hugely popular in India, and has been one of the top five Android apps throughout 2018, according to App Annie. The app counts 39 percent of its 500 million global users in India, its largest market.
As part of its efforts, TikTok has put in place protective measures by combining content moderation technology with a human moderation team. This team, which is based in over 20 countries and regions, including India, covers 36 global languages. The team in India covers major Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, and others.