A Chat With TikTok’s Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda

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Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda is the Director Public Policy for TikTok (ByteDance) in Africa. Here he spares a moment to answer a few questions from consumers…

Where does TikTok store user data, and how can we be sure of its safety?

The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for TikTok. We are committed to providing a safe and protected platform for our users now and going forward.

We have a transparent Privacy Policy that describes the information we process to support our products and features. Our uncompromising commitment is to provide all users with the peace of mind they deserve by ensuring the safety, security and protection of their personal information – because their trust matters to us.

News spreads quickly on social media, and this is a positive thing if the information is accurate. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and there have been incidents of misinformation spread on TikTok. What is being done to address this?

Misinformation and disinformation are challenges no platform can ignore. We don’t permit that on TikTok. We have partnered with global fact-checking entities to ensure that we have support in identifying fake news. These organisations can be found in our Safety Centre.

Our users value seeing authentic content, and we do too. We know there is misleading content out there, and that’s why we have both technology and human moderators to detect misleading content, guided by our policies, which are also available to the public on our website. We have strict Community Guidelines in place to keep misleading, harmful, or deceptive content and accounts off our platform.

We also encourage our community to report anything they come across that goes against our community guidelines.

With lockdowns forcing people worldwide to stay at home, people have turned to TikTok for content. So what measures have been put in place to limit potential exposure to illicit and harmful content?

TikTok’s mission has always been to inspire creativity and bring joy to its users, and we, therefore, have a zero-tolerance policy for illicit, harmful and hateful content. We take an aggressive stance when it comes to taking down this type of content. Our team of highly trained moderators, as well as our moderation technologies, are trained to detect & evaluate any potentially harmful content. Following this, the necessary steps are taken to ensure our larger community is not exposed.

With the above in mind, it’s important for us to let parents of TikTok users know that their teenagers can enjoy TikTok safely and responsibly. So, earlier this year, we introduced New Resources For Families On TikTok, which included the Guardian’s Guide, a one-stop shop to learn all about TikTok.

This includes how to get started on the platform, our safety and privacy tools, such as our Family Pairing features, and additional resources to address common online safety questions.

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The safety of our community is our top priority, and that’s especially true for our younger users. So we’re continuing to work on educating parents on how they can help support their teens on TikTok through resources, tools, and policies as we aim for the highest level of safety.

This article was first published by Uganda Communications Commission

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