TikTok and UNICEF call on SA to stand together against online bullying and harassment
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TikTok and UNICEF South Africa have partnered to launch #SharingPositivity, a campaign to reaffirm their commitment to offering a safe and positive online environment.

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (09 November 2020) – TikTok and UNICEF South Africa have launched the #SharingPositivity campaign, a nationwide initiative that calls on the online community to stand together and pledge to stop online bullying and harassment.

The initiative comes off the back of the most recent Global Advisor Survey on cyberbullying, which revealed more than one-quarter of parents surveyed in South Africa have reported that their child has experienced cyberbullying. 

Now, as South Africa leads up to Anti-Bullying Week, an annual global awareness drive that takes place from 16-20 November, TikTok and UNICEF South Africa are playing their part in raising awareness around these cyber issues by calling on South Africa’s online community to pledge their support to stop such abuse and to ‘Share Positivity’. 

With the support of top creators, TikTok and UNICEF invite South Africans to join the challenge and create their video of support to help make the internet and the TikTok community a positive and inclusive place. 

Local actress and comedian, Nina Hastie; along with TikTok creators will also be a part of an edutainment video series that will drive awareness about bullying and harassment, as well as educate users on what the community guidelines are, safety features available, and moderation policies that can be used.

Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok Content Operations Manager in Africa, says that cyberbullying is an industry-wide challenge.

“However, as a key player in the online space, it’s essential that we at TikTok play our part in online safety,” she notes.

“TikTok is a place for joy and creativity, and we are committed to fostering a positive and inclusive environment where users can share and express themselves comfortably. Through this initiative, we want to encourage everyone to work together to help reduce bullying and harassment within the TikTok community.” 

Sidwaba explains that there are a number of controls, tools and privacy settings available to users which can be used to deal with harassment and bullying from others including in-app reporting, blocking users, control interactions, duet control.

“Online abuse and exploitation have a devastating impact on the mental, social and physical wellbeing of children and young people,” says Sinah Moruane, UNICEF South Africa Child Protection Specialist.

“That’s why the #SharingPositivity campaign is so important – it aims to raise awareness of the dangers online and to provide clear guidance to youth on how to stay safe whilst still having fun, learning and connecting with peers,” adds Moruane.

How can everyone get involved? Create a short video showing your support to stand with the community and stop online bullying as well as commit to conducting yourself in a way that helps create a safer, happier, and more positive online environment. Don’t forget to include #SharingPositivity.

Join the below South Africans who have already taken a stand and spoken out to stop online bullying:

To further support the cause, TikTok hosted a Livestream Webinar yesterday, broadcast from the TikTok South Africa account, with a panel of expert guests including Sinah Moruane from UNICEF, William Bird (Director at Media Monitoring Africa), Brent Lindeque (owner of The Good Things Guy) and TikTok content creator, Kelly_KiKx.

The guests spoke about online bullying in South Africa, online safety issues and tips, experiences in the online space and a perspective from a creator’s point of view, respectively. Over 16 thousand users from the TikTok community joined to show their support.

“Jeepers, I am just a regular guy who gets to do really cool stuff like launch global movements “for good” with huge celebs and clever people from UNICEF. It was super rad. 

Here’s the thing though… I was bullied for many years as a kid but somehow survived. And then thrived. Not everyone is that lucky. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides related to bullying. That’s 400 000 people that will take their lives this year because someone was unkind to them.

I guess that is why I try to use my platforms to promote kindness, positivity and love. I found my voice and my purpose and I am hoping to use these spaces to inspire others to do the same,” Brent Lindeque explained.

As a platform that celebrates creativity and expression, TikTok is continuously enhancing and updating its various policies and tools to ensure its millions of users feel safe and comfortable within the community.  Learn more about TikTok’s safety efforts and our Community Guidelines.


Sources: TikTok | UNICEF | Good Things Guy 
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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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