It was great that I was able to attend the first-ever online safety webinar hosted by TikTok in the Philippines titled Creating a Safe Online Environment for Creative Expression on August 27, 2020 as part of its commitment to continue being a safe and welcoming space for self-expression. Opening the online event and discussing the safety thrusts of the platform was TikTok Public Policy Head for the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, Donny Eryastha. Sharing experiences with TikTok’s safety features from a parent and a content creator standpoint, celebrity Amy Perez also joined the conversation. Resource speakers from the Department of Education (DepEd) and UNICEF participated and shared each sector’s initiative in maintaining a digitally-safe community.
A panel discussion moderated by journalist and TV host, Kara Patria David-Cancio, highlighted internet and social media safety topics that are relevant to users in the Philippines.
“Safety is a TikTok priority,” said Donny Eryastha, Head of Public Policy for the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. He provided viewers with a brief background on the app’s safety policies and features, and the continuing efforts made to ensure the security of their users. Eryastha emphasized that the app’s safety features can be fully realized if content creators and users actively use it, saying, “We encourage our content creators and users to help foster a safer online community. We designed the app with your safety in mind. Our privacy settings enable every user to filter who can view, react, or comment on their posts, as well as to who can duet or download their videos. Take the time to read our Community Guidelines. This will help you better understand the culture of positivity and creativity that we harbor and how you can help maintain a safer community for self-expression.”
The next talk centered on the government’s efforts on digital safety for the Filipino youth. DepEd Child Rights Senior Officer Atty. Gil Anthony Aquino shared that with the online learning transition, the education bureau has quickly adapted to these changes. Aquino stated, “Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. It is a strong commitment that we have toward these young minds. Currently, we are bolstering the Child Protection Policy and in the process of consultation with our stakeholders. We welcome organizations and groups who are interested to do collaborations and contributions to our child protection initiatives.”
This was followed by UNICEF Child Protection Specialist Atty. Marj Ardivilla, who spoke about how everyone can work together to build a safer digital space. UNICEF has been working to protect children online by increasing public awareness, strengthening investigation and prosecution of online sexual abuse and exploitation cases, and improving delivery of services in the most vulnerable communities. She also shared best practices that Filipinos can employ. During her talk, Atty. Marj appealed to the youth, “Online safety starts with you. During these difficult times, we need to practice empathy. Be kind online. Send positive messages and support your peers. Spread the word about online safety and spark meaningful conversations with your family and friends about this. Support our causes like SaferKidsPH and help keep Filipino kids safe online.”
The final panelist to speak was Celebrity Content Creator, Amy Perez, who has become as popular for her TikTok videos as her TV programs. In sharing her digital journey as a content creator, she was able to help promote safe ways to create and share content through various online platforms. To wrap-up her talk, the millennial tita left a sensible piece of advice, “Technology is a tool we can use to our advantage to protect our children. Check the safety and privacy features of the apps that your children are using. Parental controls, like TikTok’s family pairing feature, is a helpful tool in monitoring our kids’ online activities.”
TikTok’s Family Pairing offers parents a set of controls to manage their teens’ Digital Wellbeing. A comprehensive, expanded publication of the Community Guidelines was released in January 2020 to help maintain a supportive and welcoming environment on the platform. On top of these, TikTok provides other resources such as educational safety videos to continue to provide a safer space for creative self-expression.
The webinar ended with a Q&A session, which addressed queries from the audience, and provided viewers with additional insights on the topics discussed. All in all, it was an enriching afternoon of learning for all in attendance.
Watch out for more internet safety initiatives from TikTok in the coming weeks. Enjoy a safe and fun online environment when you download TikTok on your iOS and Android devices today.