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TikTok launches global report into the impact of potentially harmful challenges and hoaxes

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17 November 2021, PAKISTAN: TikTok, the world’s leading video platform, is designed to advance joy, connection and inspiration to millions around the world. Fostering an environment where creative expression thrives requires that the platform also prioritizes safety for the online community, and especially younger community members. In this vein, TikTok shares the interests of parents and caregivers in this mission, and is committed to listening and working with external experts to inform its efforts.

• 31% of teens exposed to these hoaxes had experienced a negative impact and, of those, 63% said the negative impact was on their mental health
• As a result, TikTok strengthens protection efforts by removing warning videos on self-harm hoaxes
• The report is designed to help the community stay safe while having fun on TikTok

Consequently, the video platform has launched a global report to better understand young people’s engagement with potentially harmful challenges and hoaxes. While not unique to any one platform, the effects and concerns are felt by all, which is why TikTok set about to learn how it might develop even more effective responses as it works to better support teens, parents, and educators. It also hopes to contribute to a wider understanding of this area.

Through this first step and the encouragement of discourse on the subject, TikTok aims to use this work with world-leading experts to make a thoughtful contribution to safety and safeguarding of families online. TikTok will continue to explore and implement additional measures on behalf of the community.

In addition to this, TikTok launched social media awareness campaigns like #AapSafeTohAppSafe to promote safety on the platform and recently also launched its online Safety Center in Urdu which provides resources, guidelines and policies to educate users on safety, security and privacy. TikTok has also held public webinars with leading publications in Pakistan to promote safety and continues to make efforts to make the platform a safe place for its users.

The study surveyed more than 10,000 people (including teens, parents, and teachers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Mexico, UK, US, and Vietnam) and consulted experts from around the world. It commissioned Praesidio Safeguarding, an independent safeguarding agency, to write a report to capture key findings and recommendations.

The report was written by Dr. Zoe Hilton, Director and Founder of Praesidio Safeguarding. The study convened a panel of 12 leading youth safety experts from around the world to review and provide input into Dr. Hilton’s report. It partnered with Dr. Richard Graham, a clinical child psychiatrist specializing in healthy adolescent development, and Dr. Gretchen Brion-Meisels, a behavioral scientist specializing in risk prevention in adolescence to guide and advise us.

 

Key learnings about how online challenges and hoaxes are experienced:
• Online challenges: Online challenges or dares typically involve people recording themselves doing something difficult, which they share online to encourage others to repeat. The majority are fun and safe, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge or #BlindingLightsChallenge, but some promote harmful behaviors including the risk of serious injury.
o When asked to describe a recent online challenge, 48% of teens said recent challenges they had seen were safe, categorizing them as fun or light-hearted, 32% included some risk but were still safe, 14% were described as risky and dangerous, while 3% of online challenges were described as very dangerous. Just 0.3% of teens said they had taken part in a challenge they categorised as really dangerous.

o Teens use a range of methods to understand the risks that may be involved in online challenges before they participate, such as watching videos of others taking part in challenges, reading comments, and speaking to friends – 46% said they want “good information on risks more widely” and “information on what is too far.”

• Suicide and self-harm hoaxes: Some challenges are hoaxes. A hoax is a lie intentionally planted to trick people into believing something that isn’t true. The purpose of a malicious hoax is to spread fear and panic.
o 31% of teens have felt a negative impact of internet hoaxes and, of those, 63% said the negative impact was on their mental health.
o 56% of parents said they wouldn’t mention a hoax unless a teen had mentioned it first, and 37% of parents felt hoaxes are difficult to talk about without prompting interest in them.

 

 

 

What TikTok is doing to build on existing safeguards:
• Strengthening protection efforts
o Removing warning videos: The research showed how warnings about self-harm hoaxes – even if shared with the best of intentions – can impact the well-being of teens since they often treat the hoax as real. While TikTok already removes and takes action to limit the spread of hoaxes, to further protect the community the platform will start to remove alarmist warnings. TikTok will continue to allow conversations to take place that seek to dispel panic and promote accurate information.
o Expanding enforcement measures: Having strong policies is an important part of TikTok’s work to protect its community, and it’s essential that these policies are coupled with strong detection and enforcement measures. The platform has created technology that alerts safety teams to sudden increases in violating content linked to hashtags, and has now expanded this to also capture potentially dangerous behavior.

• Offering new resources to support the community
o Building on the Safety Center: TikTok has developed a new resource for the Safety Center dedicated to online challenges and hoaxes. This includes advice for caregivers that aim to address the uncertainty they expressed about discussing this topic with their teens.
o Improving warning labels and PSAs: Should community members attempt to search the platform for content related to harmful challenges or hoaxes, a new prompt will encourage community members to visit the TikTok Safety Center to learn more. And should people search for hoaxes linked to suicide or self-harm, TikTok will now display additional resources in search.

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Panama Papers case: Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan summoned by ED

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for questioning in a case linked to the 2016 ‘Panama Papers’ global tax leaks case, officials said on Monday.

Aishwarya Bachchan, 48, the daughter-in-law of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, has been asked to depose before the agency in Delhi.The ED has been probing the case since 2016 when the global leaks came to light. It later issued notices to the Bachchan family asking them to explain their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the RBI.

 

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Kareena, Amrita tests positive for coronavirus, authorities seal house over violation

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Bollywood superstar Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Arora have tested positive for the COVID-19. The duo were reportedly seen at different parties violating several COVID guidelines.

“I have tested positive for Covid,” Kareena informed her followers on Instagram. “I immediately isolated myself while following all medical protocols.”

Kareena requested everyone who came in contact with her to get tested.

“My family and staff are also double vaccinated. They are currently not showing any symptoms.”

Kareena hoped she would recover soon.

A few hours later, however, the BMC sealed Kareena’s residence for reportedly violating the coronavirus guidelines. According to a tweet by ANI, Kareena has not provided proper information to the authority yet.

“She has not given proper information yet but our officers are trying to find out how many people came in contact with her.”

The BMC then confirmed the reports in a statement.

“Actors Kareena Kapoor Khan and Amrita Arora tested positive for Covid-19,” it stated. “Both of them had violated Covid norms and attended several parties. BMC has ordered people, who came in contact with the two actors, to undergo RT-PCR test.”

Kareena’s representative remarked that she has been “extremely responsible” through the lockdown and follows all guidelines.

“Unfortunately, this time she and Amrita Arora contracted COVID at an intimate dinner where a few friends had gathered to catch up,” the representative said. “It wasn’t a big party as being reported. Among that group, there was one person who seemed unwell and was coughing, and who eventually passed it on. This person should have been responsible enough to not attend the dinner and put others at risk.”

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India’s Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe contest held in Israel

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Harnaaz Sandhu of India has been crowned the 70th Miss Universe, topping a field of some 80 contestants in a pageant that was touched by politics and the pandemic.

The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor, a 21-year-old model, early on Monday in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

The pageant was held in the middle of the night, wrapping up at 5am (0300 GMT) on Monday to accommodate the primetime schedule in the United States.

The pageant included traditional displays of national costumes, swimwear and a series of interview questions to test contestants’ public speaking skills. The top 10 showed off intricately bedazzled full-length gowns in either gold, silver or bronze.

The Philippines’s Beatrice Luigi Gomez wore an asymmetrical cut dress with one sleeve, highlighting a new tattoo she said “celebrates her womanhood”.

Before Sandhu, two Indians have won the Miss Universe title: Bollywood actresses Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.

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