Together for Teens: How Collaboration Drives Innovation in Youth Safety and Well-Being at TikTok

At TikTok, we take a special level of care when creating a safe, age-appropriate, and comfortable environment for teens as they begin to navigate their digital journey. We also understand that every teen and family is unique, and that there's no "one-size-fits-all" approach to safeguarding their online experience. In this session, Tracy Elizabeth, TikTok's Head of Family Safety & Developmental Health, is joined by Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, for an insightful conversation about the thought that goes into building developmentally optimal online experiences, and the importance of bringing expert voices into the fold when designing the policies, tools and resources that keep young people safe on TikTok.


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Tracy Elizabeth

Head of Family Safety & Developmental Health


Tracy Elizabeth is TikTok's Head of Family Safety & Developmental Health. She oversees teams that ensure TikTok's policies are designed to keep youth safe and that catalog content based on family comfort. Tracy holds a doctorate in Adolescent Development & Media and a Master's in Risk & Prevention from Harvard University. Prior to TikTok, Tracy managed Netflix's Kids & Family Metadata team and established Netflix's Global Maturity Ratings department. She is a former elementary school teacher, turned entertainment tech enthusiast. Tracy specializes in designing media that bolster kids' and teens' social, emotional, and academic well-being. Most importantly, Tracy is the mother of a little girl growing up in a media world.

Stephen Balkam

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Family Online Safety Institute

Stephen Balkam is a seasoned nonprofit leader with over 30 years of experience in the US and UK, currently serving as the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international organization dedicated to creating a safer online environment for children and families. Stephen has been recognized globally for his contributions to online safety, which include spearheading the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) and Recreational Software Advisory Council (RSAC) and serving on boards such as the US Child Online Protection Commission (COPA). Additionally, Stephen is a celebrated media contributor who has been featured on nationally syndicated broadcast programs such as CNN, NPR, and MSNBC, and interviewed by leading newspapers like The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

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