Meta urges tech peers to benchmark youth safety efforts; TikTok says it ‘welcomes the opportunity’

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has called on its tech industry peers to benchmark their efforts in youth safety and parental control, as it said “parents and teens should have consistent experiences across all apps, not just on Meta’s”.

The company held its first summit on youth safety and well-being this week, where it called on several stakeholders in the tech industry to work on a consistent set of safety principles.

In a blog post, Meta urged other social media companies to get on the same page, as its global head of safety Antigone Davis said: “There is a baseline, there are things we need to do as a company. But we cannot do it on our own.”

Other prominent social media players especially among younger users include TikTok and Snapchat. The former recently raised its age restriction for live streaming from 16 to 18 in November 2022, as well as introducing adult-only livestreams.

In regards to Meta’s appeal, a TikTok spokesperson told Mumbrella: “We know there is no finish line when it comes to online safety and will continue to evolve our policies and invest in people and technology. We would also welcome the opportunity to work with our peers in an effort to improve online safety.”

Snapchat also has a dedicated Family Centre, to which new features were added last year including content controls for parents. However, it did not directly address Meta’s statement specifically when approached for comment.

Additionally, Meta pushed for global policymakers and regulators to establish frameworks around providing an age-appropriate experience for young people on social media.

In Australia, a probe into social media and online safety by the parliament in 2022 recommended legislation mandating social media companies set by default the highest privacy settings for people under 18 years old.

Chair of the committee responsible for the probe, Lucy Wicks MP said during the time: “For too long social media platforms have been able to ‘set the rules’, enabling the proliferation of online abuse.

“The balance of responsibility for the safety of users online, which until recently has been primarily on users, must be ‘flipped’ to ensure that social media platforms bear more of the burden of providing safety for their users.”


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