What TikTok’s New Partnership Means for Sexual Assault Survivors

This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it’s great to see TikTok stepping up to raise awareness across its platform. We believe that the more we raise awareness about sexual assault – what constitutes it, how to report and seek justice when it occurs and where to gain support from – the better. And, the more conversations we have about sexual assault, the better equipped our society, and people of all genders, will be to prevent it.

Image of a person holding a phone with the TikTok app displayed.

What’s the story?

Tik Tok recently announced that it has partnered with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) to develop educational content, to be highlighted throughout this month on the Discover page in the App. It demonstrates the App is taking concrete steps to self-empowering its predominantly youth audience, recognising the important conversations happening on its platform about sexual assault, and that it is working to foster a safe and supportive space for survivors – and to also protect people from tragically becoming targets.

What does this announcement mean?

At JustSociale, we believe proactive, positive action, including education and awareness, is key to preventing online – and offline – harm from occurring in the first place if the Internet is to become a place that is equally, freely and safely enjoyed by all. Despite concerns about some of the content that TikTok has allowed on its platform in the past, we think this announcement is a significant example of good digital citizenship that promotes safe, respectful and responsible online behaviour that can extend into the offline realm.

Where to from here?

Given TikTok’s rapidly growing reach, we see this announcement as one that other major tech players and Apps could learn from in terms of educating users more broadly about their online human rights – which are no different to their offline human rights. If, this month, TikTok is able to successfully provide resources to help users better understand their rights when it comes to sexual assault, then it’s time for other platforms to do the same when it comes to proactively informing users about their rights around broader societal issues and how they are discussed online.

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