TikTok CEO Says Company Will Keep Safety As Top Priority, Especially For Teenagers

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TikTok CEO Makes 4 Commitments To Users, Including Protection Of Data From Foreign Access

While TikTok is used by millions all over the world, many didn’t know who the platform’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was.

That is, until Thursday (23 Mar), when the United States (US) Congress grilled Singaporean Chew Shou Zi, making him the latest Internet star.

Perhaps taking advantage of his newfound name recognition, Mr Chew has now personally recorded a TikTok video for users.


Our CEO Shou shares his thoughts about the recent congressional hearing and everything TikTok is doing to make it a safe place to connect, create, share and learn.

♬ original sound – TikTok – TikTok

He vowed that TikTok would continue to keep safety as their top priority, especially for teenagers.

TikTok CEO uses video to share his message

In a video posted on Friday (24 Mar) to the official TikTok account, Mr Chee said he wanted to share his thoughts on the experience of testifying before Congress.

During the four-hour grilling, the 40-year-old was frequently given little time to answer the questions thrown at him and repeatedly interrupted or dismissed when he did speak.

Thus, he may not have been able to convey what he intended to say fully.

That’s ostensibly why he had to post a video of his own to share an important message.

150 million Amercians use TikTok

That message is: TikTok has taken on the responsibility to protect their American users, he said — of which there are more than 150 million of them.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

This is possibly in response to widespread concerns over Tiktok being a tool for spying by China and a way to influence American youth, among other things.

To that end, he made four commitments to users.

Safety is a top priority

Firstly, Mr Chew said safety is and will be a top priority for users.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

This is especially when it comes to teenagers, he added.

The pledge could’ve been a response to his being questioned over TikTok’s content moderation policies before Congress, with one lawmaker playing several videos that encouraged suicide.

It was alleged that these videos drove an American teenager to end his life last year.

Users’ data to be protected from foreign access

Secondly, Mr Chew said TikTok would protect users’ data from unauthorised foreign access.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

He added that in the US,

American data will be stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel.

This is likely to be an assurance following concerns over TikTok’s China-based parent company ByteDance, which many fear makes them susceptible to Chinese government influence.

TikTok won’t be manipulated by any government: CEO

Thirdly, Mr Chew responded to concerns over Chinese influence by saying that TikTok won’t be “manipulated by ANY government”.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

They will ensure it remains a “platform for free expression”, he added.

One of the accusations levelled at the company during the hearing was that it had chosen “more control, more surveillance and more manipulation”.

TikTok will be transparent & accountable: CEO

Lastly, Mr Chew committed to being accountable for the previous three commitments.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

TikTok will do that by being transparent and letting independent monitors have access to hold them to their word, he said, adding,

Now we know that trust is built with every decision we make, and we are proud of the ground-breaking work we are doing to be the most trusted platform in the world.

TikTok CEO thanks users for messages of support

Mr Chew also focused on the many TikTok users who love and support the platform.

He said several of these fans had left positive comments on his previous video, sharing some of his favourites.

Source: @tiktok on TikTok

“THAT is what it’s all about — conversations and community,” he added. As compared with the behaviour displayed at the Congress hearing, perhaps?

He thanked users for their support and hoped they would share what TikTok means to them with their friends, family, and maybe, more importantly, their elected officials.

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Featured image adapted from @tiktok on TikTok.

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