TikTok launches Youth Council to advise on safety issues surrounding teens

Olutayo segun
By Olutayo segun 2 Min Read

TikTok, the beloved (and sometimes controversial) short-form video app, is caught in a political crossfire. Facing a potential US ban due to Chinese ownership concerns, TikTok is scrambling to defend its place in the hearts of its most loyal users – teens.

One of TikTok’s latest moves is the creation of a “Youth Council”. This group of 15 teens from around the world will advise TikTok on how to make the platform safer for young people. It’s a smart play as concerns swirl around issues like child protection, misinformation, and the app’s impact on mental health.

The council seems like a well-intentioned way for TikTok to demonstrate its commitment to the safety of its younger users. The teens even collaborate with Praesidio Safeguarding, a UK-based organization focused on online safety. But is this enough to sway regulators?

TikTok’s influence on teens is undeniable. The app has even encouraged its teen audience to take political action against a potential ban. Some worry that these efforts, while focused on the app’s survival, might draw even more attention to TikTok’s reach among young people.

Can TikTok’s Youth Council make a difference?

The success of this initiative will likely hinge on a few factors:

Real Impact: How much actual power will the Youth Council have to influence changes on the app?

Teen Trust: Will teens see the council as a genuine attempt at improvement or a public relations ploy?

Policy Sway: Will US policymakers see this council and its efforts as an honest commitment to user safety?

TikTok is playing a high-stakes game here. Appealing to its teen users makes sense strategically, but whether it can save TikTok from political pressures remains to be seen. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the Youth Council will depend on how much influence they are given within the company and how they are perceived by both teens and policymakers.

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