TikTok Is For 13+; TikTok Safety Measures
TikTok Safety Features
As the world took a break and things slowly died down, social media moved on at an even faster pace as people searched for new ways to keep themselves entertained, and maintain communications with their loved ones at the height of what was the biggest shift from reality in the last decade.
Within this time, a lot of the world’s population shifted attention to TikTok, the world’s first short-form video hosting service. Thus, a new world was born with users turning to creating viral videos that featured dance trends, pranks, jokes and other creative content.
Today, with more than 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has become a choice app for all generations; boomers, millennials, Gen Z and even the alpha generation.
The growth of the TikTok community has birthed the need for safety policies that guarantee the protection of each user on the platform.
Hence, to meet this demand and create a positive-in-app experience, TikTok has launched the #SaferTogether the first-ever safety campaign for TikTok in Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria).
With a goal to ensure a safe space for all, the #SaferTogether campaign aims to empower creators, teachers, parents and guardians with knowledge of the platform’s safety features.
We had a chat with Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, the public policy and government relations director at TikTok on the #SaferTogether campaign and what it means for the TikTok community as a whole.
TIKTOK and the younger generation
A thoroughly attractive platform for all ages, it comes as no surprise that the younger generation has begun to take an interest in TikTok. Whether it is to recreate viral trends, watch their favourite creators or explore the fun filters on the platform, the younger generation’s interest in TikTok wanes stronger.
However, the lurking dangers of the internet put each child at risk of predators. This is why it becomes vital that guardians and parents have total control of their wards’ online presence.
With an age limit of 13 and above, TikTok’s age-gate measure at the signup stage checks that new users are over the minimum age requirement. This measure doubles as an added advantage to parents as it enables device-based parental control allowing them to block the app from their teens’ devices.
Yet, this can only deter so much of the younger generation’s campaign. As such, it becomes imperative that TikTok creates a safer space that lets parents oversee the digital activities of their wards.
The #SaferTogether consists of a range of policies to allow parents and children to enjoy the app together.
TikTok’s new feature enables parents and children to have a safe relationship within the community through the family pairing feature. Wondering how? Parents can enable access to what their wards enjoy on the app.
In partnership with the Data Scientist Network, TikTok seeks to bridge the digital gap between parents and teens in Nigeria.
Using family pairing, every child minder enjoys mindful access over the app usage by their teens, direct messages, comments, account and video privacy.
They are also able to regulate who their child follows, who follows their child, what shows up on their for you page and what videos can download.
With an option to limit account usage, the screen management feature on the app regulates the amount of time spent by users, young and old. Once past this limit, a preset passcode is required for continued usage allowing users to regulate the amount of time they and their wards spend on the app.
By providing a weekly overview of screen time, it becomes a lot easier to manage how much time their child spends on the app, and they can create a passcode that only they know.
What is even more interesting is that on TikTok, you can choose whether to have a private account or a public account. If you have a private account, only people you approve can follow you, view your videos, LIVE videos, bio, and likes as well as you’re following and followers’ lists. With a private account, other people won’t be able to Duet, Stitch, or download your videos. Depending on your Privacy Settings, other people may also be able to Duet, Stitch, and download your videos.
What is more? There is the Guardian’s Guide, which is designed to provide an overview of TikTok and the many tools and controls built into the app to keep our community safe to caregivers, who want to help their teens learn about digital safety so they can manage their online presence, both now and as they grow into adulthood. The guide also provides general information on common internet safety concerns.
Lauded for its innovative meme-centric community and family-friendly culture, the platform from the onset has focused its attention on user protection and safety.
Through TikTok, an impressive number of Nigerian creators have found their voices, creating content on the platform that showcases their various skills, interests and have built a community of followers. We had a chat with some of the platform’s top creators, discussing the new #SaferTogether initiative and what it means for them and their audience.
For Ali Nurudeen, his journey to having over 5 million TikTok followers started in 2018 post-NYSC. His interest in the platform was piqued while watching other creators make the most of the platform, creating niche content and building their individual communities.
Looking to take advantage of this opportunity, he began creating content on the platform, focusing on football comedy as his niche. When he started, there were very few creators within this niche, which caused more people to take an interest in his content and begin following him.
A proud supporter of TikTok, the role of the platform in growing his community cannot be ignored, as they have enabled him to connect with his audience through DMS, duets, stitches and other features.
With a general audience of men and women, he is tasked with the important role of ensuring he creates a safe space for them by creating content in line with community guidelines.
Addressing #SaferTogether, he says that the initiative holds potential for creators and audiences on TikTok. Ali notes that not all creators understand their influence on social media and as such do “whatever they like either good or bad” without considering the impact these behaviours and content might have on their audience.
With the #SaferTogether initiative, TikTok ensures that everyone on the platform uses it within the preset community guidelines, removing the dangers of the internet.
Creativity, consistency, activeness and safety are necessary factors that play a long role in the success of any TikTok account. And he adds that a whole new world of financial possibilities exists within the platform, with safer ways to make a living off the platform, earning the respect of society.
“Becoming a top TikTok creator requires relentless effort, and passion,” TikTok creator OloriSports1 says about her journey to fame using the platform. For her, the platform has played a tremendous role in building a community of sports fans and maintaining a safe interactive relationship with them online.
The OAP who is famed for using her local dialect, Yoruba, for sports commentary, has attracted thousands of lovers to the app. She admits that her popularity on the app has also made her family and friends proud. She details that TikTok has made her creation process quite “fun and simple” as she is able to clearly identify the needs of her audience.
“When it comes to bantering clubs, I know it is what football and sports lovers want to hear. f a club loses, their rival fans will be happy to hear them being trolled, which gives them bragging rights.”
“It is actually a good one,” she says of TikTok’s #SaferTogether initiative, noting that she appreciates the platform’s attempt towards creating a safe space for users amidst the chaos on the internet most times. She reiterates that safety goes a long way and is actually needed.
While she enjoys creating content for her audience, she cannot ignore the financial benefits of having a strong TikTok profile, especially relating to endorsement and advertisement.
Leaving some advice for upcoming creators, she highlights perseverance, and the ability to think outside the box as some of the factors that make a successful TikTok account.
Like Ali, Shoday started using TikTok as a viewer, with little understanding of the platform’s functionalities, acceptance and community. As a content creator, he had established a community by creating content on other social platforms and was looking into diversifying his craft.
He points out that his first 30 videos didn’t go viral but recorded impressive engagement which encouraged him to do more, noting that TikTok’s algorithm favours new creators ensuring that their content can be seen and enjoyed by all irrespective of their follower count.
An artiste himself, he recognises the important contribution of TikTok to promoting music by independent artistes, adding that his first viral video with over a million views was on his cover of Kizz Daniel’s “Pour Me Water” track. This drew tremendous attention to his profile and has pushed his music career with his latest single recording over 800k views on the platform.
To determine what he posts, he identifies the trend metrics on TikTok to be of tremendous help. Using these trending dances, sounds and conversation, he figures out ways to fine-tune them for his audience and admits that this process has helped him build his fanbase.
"Knowing what type of content you want to promote is the first step to being a successful creator," he says. And follows this tip with others including consistency and collaboration.
He points out that creators can make money off the app in different ways; brand promotions for businesses and individuals and gifts on the app can be converted into cash.
An ardent supporter of the #SaferTogether initiative by TikTok, Shoday iterates the need for safety consciousness on the part of creators as they create content and try to go viral. Adding that creators need to pay extra attention to what they post, he notes that there are content forms such as the dissemination of wrong information that should stay off public spaces.
Through this initiative, he believes that the TikTok community would be “safe for everyone.”