Sunday, July 14, 2024
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TikTok launches global youth council

TikTok. PHOTO:Lionel Bonaventure/Getty Images

TikTok, the leading short-form video platform, has achieved a historic milestone with the formation of its Global Youth Council .This initiative, coinciding with new global research conducted by YouGov in partnership with ConnectSafely, involving over 12,000 teens aged 13-17 and their parents, reflects a strong desire among youth for increased collaboration opportunities and a voice in shaping their online experiences.
As the first-of-its-kind for the tech industry, the platform sets a precedent in the realm of online platforms by bringing together teenagers from Africa and around the world to address key issues impacting young users, with TikTok being the first to have a Youth Council of advisors.

In partnership with distinguished online safety agency Praesidio Safeguarding, TikTok has assembled 15 dynamic teenagers aged between 15 and 18 to form the Global Youth Council. Representing diverse communities and countries, including the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Morocco, this council aims to spearhead transformative change in online platforms and ensure that young voices are integral to TikTok’s decision-making processes.
The group convened for its inaugural meeting in December 2023 and wrapped up its second session in February 2024, with the presence of TikTok CEO Shou Chew. During the recent engagement, the teens provided input into TikTok’s Youth Portal, which is currently being redesigned, and requested information about the reporting and blocking process to better understand its procedures. The Youth Council’s priorities for the year ahead include a focus on teen well-being and inclusion to maintain TikTok as a safe and accessible space.
Excitingly, the representation of Africa is prominently marks a significant milestone for the region. A 17-year-old member from one of the African countries shared, “I’m honoured to be part of this council. It’s a dream come true to work with teenagers ready to make the online world safer. I look forward to making TikTok a better platform for teenagers.”

Valiant Richey, TikTok’s Global Head of Outreach and Partnerships, said: “TikTok is a platform where families come to create and enjoy memorable moments, and we want to ensure we’re empowering families with the tools to do this. Listening to teens and then making meaningful changes based on what they have to say is one of the most important steps we can take to continue building a safe platform.”

Jennifer Kaberi, CEO of Mtoto News in Kenya, emphasised the significance of this initiative, stating: “In a world where digital landscapes form the cornerstone of our children and youth’s realities, it’s imperative that their voices shape the very fabric of this digital era. TikTok’s dedication to amplifying the voices of the young, particularly highlighting our commitment to inclusivity and empowerment, is a bold step forward. This initiative is about revolutionising how we engage with digital futures through the lens of those who will inherit it.”

Through this initiative, TikTok empowers teenagers to play an active role in shaping the platform’s policies and initiatives. As the council embarks on its journey in 2024, the platform reaffirms its dedication to empowering the next generation and creating a positive digital experience for all users, where the voices of its young users are heard and valued.


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