TikTok launches 'Fun and safe' campaign to address young user concerns

Short-form mobile video app has faced wave of negative press this year.

TikTok: creators have produced clips that show how to use safety features
TikTok: creators have produced clips that show how to use safety features

TikTok has released a set of "awareness" videos aimed at promoting its actions to keep users safe online.

Available from today on the platform’s @tiktoktips channels, a new set of safety videos will complement a wider online marketing campaign.

The short-form mobile video app, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced a wave of negative press this year over the way its young user base is protected when posting content and receiving messages.

The "Fun and safe" marketing campaign, which launches today, was created by Social.Lab, the Belgian social media agency majority-owned by WPP's Ogilvy. California-based agency Channel produced the creator videos. PHD was appointed TikTok’s media agency for all markets outside China earlier this year.

The series features TikTok’s creators from around the world, including the UK's @Stevenmckell, @chanydakota from Germany, French creator @juniortvine and @d-damodel from the US. 

Each creator has sought to produce a fun, situational clip to demonstrate how to use TikTok’s in-app safety features, such as choosing who can send a message or react to videos, reporting unsafe content and setting screen-time limits. 

TikTok is being investigated by the UK Information Commissioner's Office over the way it handles the personal data of young users. Earlier this year, a report from Barnados revealed that predators were targeting users as young as eight with sexually explicit messages.

The app was briefly banned in India and Indonesia after concerns that it fails to protect its young users from predators and abusers.

A BuzzFeed investiation revealed that TikTok’s failure to address sexual predadors on its platform had led to users taking action on their own, such as creating call-out videos and posting warnings on other social media platforms. 

Elizabeth Kanter, director of global public policy at TikTok UK, said: "Safety is our number one priority. This new campaign, featuring some of our most loved creators from a variety of backgrounds and genres, demonstrates our commitment to originality as we educate, empower and encourage our global community to stay safe and positive."