TikTok partners with IIMC to promote online safety

New Delhi: Chinese short-form video platform TikTok on Monday said it has partnered with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) to train budding media professionals on existing industry-wide challenges faced due to evolving social media landscape in India. Under the partnership, TikTok and the IIMC will organise a series of workshops with students and professors of the educational institute across its six regional campuses over the next two months, starting August 26, a statement said.

These workshops will be implemented by Youth Ki Awaaz, an online community for social issues. The workshops will feature a curriculum that incorporates insights and learnings shared by thought leaders from new media, internet-based companies and educational institutional community. The workshops will focus on aspects like responsible and safe use of the internet, combating misinformation on the internet and the role that can be played in creating a positive online environment.

The initiative is part of TikTok's '#WaitASecToReflect' ongoing campaign to promote responsible online conduct among India's netizens. "We believe that as the media landscape evolves, there is a need to equip, and educate aspiring media professionals about their role as enablers of positive impact on society," IIMC Director General KS Dhatwalia said.Through this academic partnership, the aim is to train the next generation of media professionals about various nuances of news and information consumption on digital platforms, he added.

"We believe in building relationships that would help further develop and support this industry-wide mission to actively train young professionals to help them become more informed digital citizens and promote online safety," TikTok Director of Public Policy (India) Nitin Saluja said. Previously, TikTok had announced partnerships with Uttarakhand Police Department and Kerala Police to help these organisations connect better with citizens. TikTok, which allows people to create short videos and share them, had its share of troubles in the Indian market where it has 200 million users.

Last month, the Indian government had issued notices to TikTok and Helo along with a set of 24 questions regarding the alleged misuse of their platforms for "anti-national activities" in India. The company had responded to the notice. In April, the Madras High Court had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app, saying it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile apps. The order was later lifted and the app was back on app stores.

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