*Goya Menor *
TikTok: “Creating Entertainment and Bringing Joy”
By Omoniyi Ibietan
Some 100 public servants and legislators have gathered since 9.00a.m. at Sheraton Hotel Abuja, to listen a delegation from TikTok which came to discuss “How TikTok Works”. I had the privilege of being part of the NCC delegation to the discourse.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy was represented by the Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi.
The National Assembly was represented by Distinguished Senators Yakubu Oseni, Chairman Senate Committee on ICT and Cybersecurity; and his colleague in the Committee, Ibrahim Hassan Hadeija.
The forum has been so engaging. It’s evident that TikTok is proactive on a number of guidelines and community rules. The trouble with some of us is whether we actually read users’ guide before we subscribe to services or even use products. As I discussed with the team, it took me three days of intensive reading of community guidelines before I activated my TikTok account.
A lot of contents on TikTok violate morality and public good. I agree with the representative of the Minister and Senator Hassan Hadeija that TikTok needs to localise some of its guidelines. Some of the contents coming from Nigerian users are obscenities and unacceptable but they come in local languages and therefore the screening process must be reviewed for the Nigerian market. This is particularly important because Nigeria practically did not feature in the 91,445,802 contents taken down by TikTok in the first quarter of 2021.
Importantly, parents and guardians have a lot to do in ensuring Child Online Protection. If we cannot take our children and wards to playgrounds and leave them there unattended to, then we should not buy our children Internet-enabled devices without monitoring them.
Please note that anyone below 16 as a TikTok user, cannot take direct messaging. Also, if you are under 18, you cannot take virtual gifts. Parents can also pair their devices with their children’s in order to monitor what the children are doing online.
Indeed, parents can also limit their children screen time, as well as limit who can comment on their children’s page and decide who can be friends to their children on TikTok.
Matter-of-factly, we all have responsibility to make TikTok works better for us by reporting any content we consider offensive.
One of the takeaways for me is that Nigerians are increasingly getting active on the App, and are among TikTok’s 1billion users.
And the masterstroke is that our own, Goya Menor’s “You want to chill with the big boys” has recorded the highest musical note impression on the platform, with over 9.5 billion views.
Once again, please monitor minors around you when they are online, otherwise, do not give them Internet-enabled devices. The surface Web is dangerous enough, not to talk of the deep and the dark Webs.