In November 2021, TikTok shared the results of a global project launched to better understand how teens engage with potentially harmful challenges and hoaxes. While not unique to any one platform, the effects and concerns are felt by all – and TikTok wanted to learn how they could develop even more effective responses to better support teens, parents, and educators.
New resources to support mindful engagement with challenges
TikTok is glad to see that since launching a dedicated challenges page on their Safety Centre last November, the information for teens, caregivers, and educators has been a place of support for those who need it. To encourage even more people to engage with these resources, they created an in-app guide to house this information.
Community members will be directed to this new in-app guide if they attempt to search for content that TikTok has designated as potentially harmful challenges and hoaxes. Searches for content that violates Community Guidelines will continue to be blocked, with this in-app guide being displayed instead.
The guide will encourage community members to follow the 4-step process for engaging with an online challenge: asking them to stop for a moment, think about what they’ve seen, decide how the content made them feel and how they want to act on those feelings.
Enhanced safety interventions to support mindful engagement with challenges
When Praesidio Safeguarding, an independent safeguarding agency, published their report last November, they found that teens, parents, and educators were seeking better information about challenges and hoaxes. To address this need, TikTok believed it was important to create dedicated resources for their community. These can now be found in Safety Centre.
We also worked with Dr. Richard Graham, a clinical child psychiatrist specialising in healthy adolescent development, and Dr. Gretchen Brion-Meisels, a behavioural scientist specialising in risk prevention in adolescence to improve the language used in our warning labels. These appear alongside potentially risky videos – for example, stunts performed by professionals.
Should community members attempt to search for content that they have designated as a potentially harmful hoax or challenge, they will be directed to a new in-app guide that encourages people to follow the 4-step process for engaging with online challenges. Searches for content that violates Community Guidelines will continue to be blocked.