Science and technology, Arts, culture & society | Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World

2 October 2020

On this special Policy Forum Pod live event, we’re joined by prominent TikToker Ricky Chainz, national security expert Dr James Mortensen, and digital anthropologist Dr Crystal Abidin to discuss TikTok culture and the national security concerns about the platform.

It’s the latest social media craze to sweep the world, and has been the entertainment platform of choice for many during COVID-19 lockdown periods, but TikTok has become entangled in political controversy and debate about cybersecurity. So, what makes TikTok different to other social media platforms? What impact has it had on how young people around the world participate in social movements? And how concerned should policymakers be about the potential for data privacy and national security breaches coming through the platform? On this Policy Forum Pod live event, we’re joined by researchers Dr James Mortensen and Dr Crystal Abidin, and TikToker Ricky Chainz, to discuss one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Listen here:

Dr Crystal Abidin is a socio-cultural anthropologist of vernacular internet cultures, particularly young people’s relationships with internet celebrity, self-curation, and vulnerability.

Dr James Mortensen is a Research Fellow at the Research School of Computer Science at The Australian National University.

Ricky Chainz is a Sydney-based content creator on Tik Tok with more than five million followers on the platform.

Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Canberra Times.

This live event was run in partnership with ANU Learning Communities.

Policy Forum Pod is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherSubscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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