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TikTok Launches Global Youth Council to Enhance Safety and Inclusivity for Teen Users

TikTok has officially announced the creation of its global Youth Council, marking a significant step in its efforts to make the platform safer and more inclusive for teenagers. 

This initiative comes in response to new global research indicating a strong desire among teens for more direct involvement with online platforms. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the announcement:

The Formation of the Youth Council

The Youth Council, established in partnership with Praesidio Safeguarding, an online safety agency, comprises 15 teenagers aged 15 to 18 from various countries, including the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Morocco. 

This diverse group held its inaugural meeting in December 2023 and has since convened for a second time, with TikTok CEO Shou Chew in attendance.

Objectives and Priorities

The council has outlined its priorities for 2024, focusing on teen well-being and inclusion. They aim to ensure TikTok remains a safe space where young people can freely express themselves. 

During their February meeting, the council members provided input on redesigning TikTok’s Youth Portal and sought clarity on the platform’s reporting and blocking mechanisms.

Insights from Global Research

The research, conducted by YouGov in collaboration with ConnectSafely, surveyed over 12,000 teens and their parents. It revealed that while families frequently discuss online safety, 43% of US teens tend to avoid certain topics, such as bullying and body image. 

The study also highlighted a gap in awareness and usage of parental control tools, with 20% of US parents expressing a desire to use these tools but lacking the necessary knowledge.

TikTok’s Response to the Findings

TikTok has taken several steps in response to these findings, including forming its first Advisory Council in 2020 and introducing in-app tips. The platform’s Safety Center offers guides on bullying prevention and body image, which have reached over a million people monthly. 

Additionally, TikTok is promoting its Family Pairing feature and planning new media literacy campaigns focused on misinformation and AI-generated content.

Voices from the Youth Council

A 15-year-old council member from the United States shared their excitement about being part of the Youth Council, emphasizing the opportunity to advocate for young creators and contribute to a positive and inclusive community. The first meeting was exciting and positive, with creative ideas and opinions already being exchanged.

Larry Magid, CEO of ConnectSafely, showed the importance of parent education in online safety discussions, noting that many parents lack the knowledge to engage in these conversations effectively.

TikTok’s Youth Council represents a proactive approach to addressing the concerns and needs of its younger users, demonstrating the platform’s commitment to safety, inclusivity, and direct engagement with its community.

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