TikTok, the short-form video platform, is taking further steps to ensure the safety of its community in Kenya. In collaboration with Eveminet Communications, an organisation that focuses on promoting digital safety and well-being will be running in-person and virtual workshops across Kenya.
The platform recognises its profound responsibility to help foster a safe online community for all its users in the digital age. The massive user base served by TikTok underscores the urgency to prioritise safety, and initiatives like the #SaferTogether workshops are an effort by the platform to bring together various stakeholders who play a pivotal role in ensuring the platform remains a safe space to spark creativity and bring joy.
(TOP: Stephen Gitari Gitau, Assistant Director, Directorate of Children’s Child Online Protection Department, Ministry of Labour, with Evelyn Kasina, Eveminet Communications founder, during the TikTok #SaferTogether Phase II launch).
Phase one of the #SaferTogether workshops, launched successfully in Nairobi, in February of this year during Safer Internet Month, successfully reaching almost 7000 parents, guardians and teachers. Following the success of the initial phase, phase two of the project was announced on the 25th of October at a stakeholder event hosted at Woodcreek School in Kiambu. The collaborative effort between TikTok and Eveminet Communications aims to reach at least 72 schools, four universities and over 3000 parents and guardians across 11 counties in Kenya.
Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, TikTok’s Government and Public Policy Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, stated: “Everyone deserves to feel protected and empowered while engaging on the platform. TikTok remains dedicated to creating a safe space for creators to thrive by offering a number of tools and controls to help manage their experience on the platform. #SaferTogether is a promise we made when we regularly engaged various stakeholders this year, with the goal of understanding our community’s needs for online safety.”
Mgwili-Sibanda added: “This is our way of saying to creators, parents and guardians and the wider stakeholder community that we are purposefully working with the TikTok community to establish a safe space and are committed to making it better, together.”
Founder of Eveminet Communications, Evelyn Kasina, said: “At the heart of the #SaferTogether workshops is the empowerment of parents, guardians and educators, who play a crucial role in guiding the younger generation’s digital experience. This includes a Trainer of Trainers (TOT) program which will host over 280 Trainer of Trainer sessions. Leveraging insights from the first phase of the project, we aim to enhance trust and safety for young users and the broader child-focused community. We want to cultivate a culture of trust, joy, and creativity among TikTok users in Kenya.”
The workshops will also provide resources to help teachers, parents and guardians create secure online spaces for young people in their care, such as setting up parental control settings, defining screen time boundaries, and educating young people about the significance of responsible online behaviour.
Commenting on the efforts by TikTok and Eveminet Communications, the acting CEO at the Kenya Film Classification Board Joel Wamalwa said: “Children tend to imitate what they see especially on digital platforms and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure they monitor and guide their children appropriately on online content access and consumption. As a parent myself, I have the responsibility to ensure that children will have values that will be celebrated by future generations. The values I have today were passed on to me by parents. As a content creator, you need to ask yourself what values you are passing to children through your content.”
The Safety Centre: A Hub of Safety Updates
TikTok has a centralised location for safety updates called Safety Centre that provides updated information on all actions that TikTok implements to continuously boost safety and security on the platform. These are resources are also available to parents and guardians. TikTok creators and users are encouraged to visit the Safety Centre to stay up-to-date on the latest TikTok safety initiatives. Below we’re highlighting some of the key features available.
The Guardian’s Guide also offers updated resources accessible to parents and guardians, providing a comprehensive understanding of TikTok’s safety measures and initiatives. Users and creators are encouraged to regularly visit the Safety Centre to stay informed about the latest safety protocols and initiatives introduced by the app.
By consistently working to create and maintain a secure environment, TikTok remains resolute in its commitment to providing users with a positive and enjoyable experience.