The development of technology and the Internet created a bloom of digital applications which are effective tools for relaxation as well as for connecting people all over the world. However, these applications include risks for users, especially young people. Nguyen Lam Thanh, head of Public Policy at TikTok, told VIR about solutions to minimise digital platform risks.
|Nguyen Lam Thanh, policy director of TikTok at the event |
What is your view on safety when using the current digital applications in Vietnam?
Vietnam has one of the world's best Internet infrastructures. According to WeAreSocial, the number of Internet users in Vietnam has reached approximately 65 per cent of the population by 2018 and smartphone adoption has hit 72 per cent. With very affordable mobile devices and inexpensive data plans provided by top telecommunications firms in Vietnam, the Internet is accessible to everyone, including young users over 13 years old. That's amazing, given it's a great source of learning for the youth, but it also requires a certain level of proactive safety measurements, such as online safety policies and educational efforts to raise awareness and to equip younger users with the best possible knowledge and tools to protect themselves online.
With that in mind, as a well-trusted video platform, TikTok has implemented limited, age-appropriate app experience with additional safety policies, community guidelines, and privacy protections specifically designed for young users. We believe it is necessary that a platform provider like ourselves plays an active role in protecting users while proactively working closely with NGOs and relevant government stakeholders to raise safety awareness.
Who are the members of TikTok Safety Partner Council and how can the council minimise digital platform risks?
TikTok Safety Partner Council was established in 2018 with the co-operation between TikTok and local NGOs including the Vietnam Digital Communications Association (VDCA), the Vietnam Internet Association (VIA), the Vietnam Association of Information Processing (VAIP), the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), the Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD), and the Center of Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents. It is a part of TikTok’s educational efforts to increase user awareness about online safety measures.
As part of our agenda, we host a safety workshop every few months to raise awareness and update on the latest safety measures available within the Council so we can learn from each other and enhance our safety approaches.
On February 28, we hosted the 2nd Workshop of the Safety Partner Council in Hanoi, focusing on the introduction of TikTok’s latest educational resources and fostered discussions with relevant government and NGO stakeholders on how to create a safer and healthier online environment for younger users. We hope the workshop was as helpful to the participants as it was to ourselves. It's a long-term commitment from TikTok as we continue to play an active role in protecting our users online.
So what did TikTok do to prove its commitments to protect users?
As part of the 2nd Safety Partner Council Workshop, TikTok also launched a series of Safety Tutorial videos in the user feed to ensure the educational effort reaches millions. The videos were produced in an authentic TikTok style, with an aim to make online safety knowledge easier to consume and memorise.
Users can also find powerful tools to help them control their activities on the platform at Safety Policies and Community Guidelines, which serve as a code of conduct for a safe and friendly environment at TikTok Safety Center. The highlights are restricted mode and the screen time management function which help users limit the amount of time spent on the app per day to two hours. We also have a moderation team which is based in over 20 countries and regions, including Vietnam, and now covers 36 languages, an increase of 400 per cent in terms of language support from one year ago.
We're committed to the safety of our users. TikTok always works hard to provide anyone using our platform with a safe experience and we trust all users to respect and utilise these measures to make TikTok a fun and welcoming community for everyone.