This article originally appeared on VICE Indonesia.
Turns out, TikTok is good for more than just cringey dance moves and licking toilet seats. One user has released a video that could help people get out of unsafe situations in taxis, rideshare cars, and public transportation.
TikTok user @alfianrzk posted a video for people to play when they feel uncomfortable inside any of those modes of transportation. The video basically simulates a FaceTime call, making it seem like another person knows the passenger’s real-time location. After pressing play, users respond to @alfianrzk’s questions with prompts highlighted in red on the screen. To an eavesdropper, the TikTok video sounds like an ordinary video chat
The video opens with a text reading, “Save this video if you ever feel unsafe in a taxi/grabcar/go-car, so they think someone knows your location,” followed by the sound of a FaceTime call. This is how the “conversation” is supposed to go:
“Hey, where are you?”
“Quit lying. I can see your location.”
“Remember we downloaded that app that lets us track each other?”
“Yeah, I’m in a taxi/GrabCar/Go-Car.”
“Alright, I’ll wait up for you!”
As of March 23, the video has garnered over 75,000 likes. @alfianrzk released the video, hoping to save people from potentially dangerous situations.
It comes at a crucial time in Indonesia. Based on a 2018 survey by the Safe Public Sphere Coalition (KRPA) with 62,000 Indonesian respondents, three out of five women and one of ten men have experienced sexual harassment on public transportation.
“Women are 13 times more likely to experience harassment in the public sphere. From catcalling, commenting on their bodies, and sexual remarks to photographing them without their consent and public masturbation,” Rastra, a KRPA spokesperson, told local media.
In 2018, an Indonesian woman said her driver mugged and sexually assaulted her while riding in a Grab Car.
It's a problem around the world.
In July 2017, another Grab Car driver attempted to rape his passenger in Gowa, South Sulawesi Province. In Malaysia, a Grab driver allegedly raped his female passenger while driving her home in June 2017. In Thailand, a Grab driver was arrested for “grabbing his passenger all over.”
Hopefully, this video can provide an extra layer of protection in addition to the built-in safety features offered by ridesharing apps.