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TikTok Drives Youth Online Safety with Digital Literacy Panel

 To encourage youths to make more discerning choices surrounding dangerous challenges and keeping themselves safe online, TikTok, a leading destination for short-form mobile video, recently held a live digital literacy panel as part of its ongoing commitment to user safety. 

(Left to right) A'minahtul Mardiah, En. Nizam Arshad, Moderator Hunny Madu, Kristoffer Eduard Rada, Firzana Redzuan, and Wan Fatin Sufina

The discussion, titled Dumb Ways to Hurt Yourself Online, saw representatives from various backgrounds, including parents and youth who are TikTok creators themselves dissect the rationale behind youths choosing to engage in dangerous challenges, and how this can be circumvented through collective effort. 

"On TikTok, we encourage our users to be creative in the manner that they express themselves – however every action has its consequences, and we want them to be aware of how their choosing to engage with harmful content can endanger themselves and others. TikTok is committed to ensuring the platform is a safe space, and encourage our creators to #thinkb4youdo so they can influence others around them to do the same. We have a refreshed safety guide and an in-app Digital Literacy Hub that acts as a one-stop portal that anchors all of TikTok's educational initiatives around mental wellbeing, cyber wellness, minor safety and other digital literacy topics," shares Kristoffer Eduard Rada, TikTok Head of Public Policy, Malaysia.

Encouraging youth to make more informed decisions for greater impact

While the responsibility to create an online space is a collective one that involves the efforts of users, governing bodies and parents for their children, having open conversations surrounding harmful content is important so that youth are more aware and empowered to stand up and speak up for themselves instead of simply jumping on the bandwagon. 

To curb such practices from gaining in popularity, users are encouraged to report any harmful or dangerous challenges – where swift action will be taken to prevent the spread of such content. 

Nizam Arshad, Chief Development Officer at Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), reiterates the commission's efforts to drive greater digital resilience, and commends platforms such as TikTok who are taking steps to encourage youths in this segment. 

"In this digital era, it is no surprise that most children at the age of 13 have access to a smartphone and are spending an increasing amount of time on social media. While many children and teens have the ability to distinguish between internet and reality, some content remain ambiguous. Therefore, it is up to the guardians, parents, religious institutions, corporates, regulators, and society in general to create awareness that there should not be a disparity between internet and real life. 

"It takes joint effort to educate children to act consistently both online and offline. At MCMC, we are committed to regulating content on the internet such as those that are obscene, dangerous, and malice in nature to protect users. We are glad that more and more organizations such as TikTok have also joint in the conversation to make the internet a safer space for all."

This panel is part of TikTok's efforts to create a welcoming environment for everyone and follows the launch of a new in-app Digital Literacy Hub in February. The Hub is a one-stop portal for users to access TikTok's educational initiatives surrounding mental wellbeing, cyber wellness, minor safety, potentially dangerous online challenges and other literacy topics via videos, quizzes, scenario-based learning content and educational content. 

To encourage and inspire teens to adopt positive online habits and be #SaferTogether, TikTok has also announced three updates in their continuous Trust and Safety initiatives comprising a new Warning Label in their videos, a new Safety Centre page and in-app safety guide. 

Visit the Digital Literacy Hub here to find out more about TikTok's ongoing safety initiatives for Malaysia. TikTok is available for free on iOS and Android via the Apple Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.