Formed in 2006, the Tech Coalition is made up of an array of representatives from tech industry giants who work together to formulate optimal approaches to detecting trends and protecting young users.
According to Technology Coalition
“We seek to prevent and eradicate the sexual exploitation and abuse of children online. We have invested in collaborating and sharing expertise with each other because we recognize that we have the same goals and face many of the same challenges.
Already, representatives of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Snap Inc. are members of the group, while Pinterest and Discord have also recently logged in.
Joining the Coalition will provide TikTok with more policy guidance, to facilitate a safer user environment, especially for young users.
As explained by TIC Tac:
“We are at our best when we work together, which is why we are proud to join the Technology Coalition. Through this membership, we hope to deepen our evidence-based approach to intervention and bring our unique safety lessons TikTok is also joining the Technology Coalition Board of Directors with a number of committees that aim to advance protecting children online and offline; and increasing transparency of evolving threats to children’s safety. “
This is a particularly sensitive element for TikTok, given its younger user orientation.
Indeed, last year, The New York Times shared an internal TikTok report that found more than a third of its US audience was under the age of 14. Users under the age of 13 are technically unable to access the “ full TikTok experience ”, with a limited and younger version of the app available depending on the age of your registered profile. But it is also likely that there are still many kids bypassing this problem and signing up for the hugely popular app.
In view of this, TikTok has an obligation to protect these users as best it can, and various incidents have suggested that the platform is still working to refine its approaches and keep young people safe.
Last year, for example, TikTok was temporarily banned in Pakistan due to ‘immoral and indecent content, while the application was also blocked in Italy for a period due to claims that a 10-year-old girl died after participating in an in-app blackout challenge, which saw users choke on their clips. The European Commission is also complaint investigation that TikTok exposes young users to inappropriate content.
Given these incidents, and others, this must be a key priority for the app, and the signing of the Tech Coalition is another step forward on this front, which could help TikTok improve its approaches.
Truly, the app seems to be exploitative, with young girls in particular being enticed into playing for the camera in order to get more likes and followings, and to increase their social status.
Hopefully, thanks to this partnership, TikTok will be able to refine and strengthen its approaches, and offer more protection to young users in the application.