TikTok turns to teenage ‘youth council’ as part of its latest safety push

TikTok turns to teenage 'youth council' as part of its latest safety push

Last summer, TikTok said it planned to form a “youth council” of teens to advise the company as part of a broader push to beef up safety features for the app’s youngest users. That group is now official, and they have already started meeting with the company, including CEO Shou Chew, the company announced.

The announcement comes as TikTok is fighting a bill that would force parent company ByteDance to sell the app or face a ban in the United States. As part of that effort, the company has tried to mobilize its users, many of them teens, to oppose the measure. TikTok’s critics often cite youth safety as one of the most significant risks posed by the app.

It’s not clear if the newly-formed youth council will do much to counter that perception. But the company says the group has already influenced an upcoming media literacy campaign in the US that will “focus on misinformation, AI-generated content, and more.” The council, made up of 15 teens from the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Morocco, has also weighed in on the app’s “youth portal” feature, which provides in-app privacy and security resources.

According to TikTok, the council is meant to advise on the safety policies and issues that often impact teens. The group also collaborates with UK online safety organization Praesidio Safeguarding, which helped select the council’s teenage members, all of whom are paid, according to TikTok. The company notes that CEO Shou Chew attended the most recent meeting in February, when the youth council asked TikTok to share more details about how reporting and blocking work in the app.

While it’s not yet clear how much, if any, influence TikTok’s youth council will ultimately wield over the company’s policies, it underscores just how important teens are to the platform. TikTok is one of the most dominant apps among teens in the US, currently the company’s largest market. The company has also leaned on them to oppose the bill that could lead to a ban of the app, though those efforts may have backfired.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tiktok-turns-to-teenage-youth-council-as-part-of-its-latest-safety-push-130005305.html?src=rss

By John Routledge

Founder and owner of Technoshia.com - I'm an avid tech junkie, a lover of new gadgets and home automation. You will often find me reading, writing, and learning about new technologies. I've been featured in many leading technology magazines where I've written about my favorite topics.