LeadTikTok at MENAT Summit: Media Literacy & Youth Well-being

TikTok at MENAT Summit: Media Literacy & Youth Well-being

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Dubai, UAE- 14 February 2024: TikTok MENAT recently hosted an enlightening discussion with safety experts from across the region, delving into topics such as youth well-being, media literacy, and critical thinking skills in today’s digital landscape. The event, hosted on 13 February at Warehouse 4 in Al Qouz, Dubai moderated by Omar Butti, served as a platform for valuable insights into the influence of digital communities on the mental health of the upcoming generation and strategies to engage with social media content in a meaningful and critical manner.

The first panel named “Equipping Young Digital Citizens with Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills” attended by Lynn Sutton, TikTok’s Head of Outreach & Partnerships, Trust & Safety EMEA, as well as TikTok’s Safety Advisory Council members Naila Hamdy and Akin Unver. Together, they delved into the significance of media literacy, particularly for younger audiences, emphasizing the need for informed conversations about safety and the ability to respond appropriately to crises.

The second panel called “Building Digital Communities for Youth Well-being” welcomed Lynn Sutton along with TikTok’s Safety Advisory council member Maitha Mohamed and Lecturer of Educational Psychology, Trainer & Speaker on Leadership and Mental Health Jana Bou Reslan. They explored how digital communities cultivate compassion among users and highlighted the importance of constructive dialogues surrounding mental health, supported by robust content moderation processes, in establishing a nurturing environment for all.

TikTok’s Head of Outreach & Partnerships, Trust & Safety EMEA Lynn Sutton shared, “TikTok is constantly striving to make our platform a safer and more welcoming space for everyone, ensuring that all users have the necessary tools and support to engage with content safely and responsibly. Our community guidelines are designed to ensure that the platform remains a positive and inclusive space for everyone. We take action to address potential challenges, and conversations like the ones that took place in TikTok’s MENAT Youth Mental Health Summit are critical to ensuring a safe environment for everyone, most importantly youth.”

Naila Hamdy, Safety Advisory Council (SAC) member, emphasized the importance of media literacy in navigating various types of content, particularly in an age where information spreads rapidly. She stated, “It’s crucial to critically assess content and take appropriate action. We encourage young people not only to create content but also to become responsible digital citizens. Parents and educators play a central role in equipping young individuals with media literacy.”

Jana Bou Reslan, Lecturer of Educational Psychology, Trainer & Speaker on Leadership and Mental Health, also shared, “Engaging parents is paramount to creating safe digital communities for the younger generation. Parents’ insights are valuable in not only creating important safety processes, but also in guiding how the youth can interact with digital platforms in a healthy and responsible manner.”

TikTok is at the forefront of introducing features to help support the community’s mental well-being, both on and off the platform. The platform has been proactive in promoting mental health awareness and encouraging users, especially teenagers, taking steps to prevent instances of trolling and bullying, and set daily screen time limits.

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