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After Hefty Fines, TikTok Launches ‘Youth Council’

TikTok youth council

Photo Credit: Benjamin Child

TikTok’s ‘youth council’ of teens is now official as part of the company’s broader push to ‘further strengthen’ the platform’s safety, and they’ve already started meeting with CEO Shou Chew.

TikTok’s plans for a group of teens to band together and advise the company has been in the works since last year, but now the TikTok Youth Council is official. The announcement comes amid the bill gaining increasing traction with government officials that would force Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok or face a ban in the United States.

The council, created in partnership with UK online safety agency Praesidio Safeguarding, comprises 15 teens aged between 15 and 18, from the US, UK, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Morocco. According to TikTok, the group has already advised on redesign of the platform’s “youth portal” feature, as well as an upcoming “media literacy” campaign in the US focused on “misinformation, AI-generated content, and more.”

“One of my primary goals is to advocate for the interests and concerns of young creators,” said a Youth Council member, aged 15, from the US, in TikTok’s official announcement. “I hope to actively contribute to discussions to promote inclusivity, creativity, and a positive environment.”

While it’s unclear how much — if any — influence TikTok’s Youth Council will actually hold over company policy, TikTok says the council is meant to advise on safety policies and issues that often impact teens. Regardless, as one of the dominant apps among teens in the US, it serves as a further example of just how important young people are to the platform.

But it remains to be seen how much these efforts will actually sway TikTok critics, many of whom cite the safety of children and teens as a significant risk posed by the platform. It’s unclear how the formation of a council of teens will do much to convince worried parents — or government officials.

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