TikTok adds a dislike button for ‘irrelevant or inappropriate’ comments

KUALA LUMPUR: With TikTok having recently becoming the biggest platforms for people online, it’s bound to have its own issues with things like safety, online harassment and the like. To their credit, the company has in the past tried out several features to improve the experience of its app’s users and creators, and the latest attempt by TikTok appears to be a dislike button for comments.

As user @iniyaspip on Twitter found out, TikTok has added a dislike button next to the usual heart icon in the comment section. This new look comment section has the heart button moved to the left to make space for the thumbs down icon. Another user also found the dislike feature in the comment section, albeit without the thumbs down. Instead, by tapping and holding onto a comment, a pop up appears which lets you dislike the comment.

In a new blogpost on the TikTok website, the company’s Head of Trust and Safety Cormac Keenan reveals that this is part of the platform exploring new ways to give the community more control over the comment section. Keenan mentions a new way to let users identify comments that they think are ‘irrelevant’ or ‘inappropriate’, and this community feedback will help TikTok keep the comments a better place for engagement. However, the dislike count on a comment won’t be made public. Instead, only the user who disliked a comment will be able to see that they did so.

This is on top of other new measures by TikTok to improve its platform. According to TikTok, since they began publishing their enforcement reports last year to the most recent one, they’ve made a lot of progress when it comes to removing harmful content before it receives even a single view. By the end of last year for instance, they have increased the amount of videos taken down at zero views for harassment and bullying by 14.7 per cent compared to the start of 2021, while videos depicting hateful behaviour, violent extremism and suicide or self-harm taken down at zero views increased by 10.9 per cent, 16.2 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively. Furthermore, TikTok are also testing out reminders for creators that they can filter the comment section or bulk block and delete if needed. These reminders will be shown to users whose videos are getting a higher proportion of negative comments.

TikTok’s move to improve the comment section coincidentally also comes following a recent report that revealed rival social media company Meta — the people in charge of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram — had been paying a consulting firm to run a campaign against TikTok. You can read more about that here, but the gist of it was that Meta tapped up the firm Targeted Victory to place op-eds and columns in major American news outlets which the goal of making it seem as though TikTok was a danger to families and children. ― SoyaCincau

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