What just happened? TikTok is no different than other social networks in that bullying has become the skunk at the garden party. To help combat negative behavior and foster kindness, ByteDance is implementing two new features to give creators and commenters more control over what is said in comments.
The first new feature builds on TikTok's existing comment filtering tool. When enabled, comments remain hidden from public view until a video's creator approves them. Up to this point, content creators have been able to filter comments for spam, offensive material and specific keywords but this new feature goes much further.
TikTok is also rolling out a new prompt that asks users to reconsider posting a comment that may be inappropriate or unkind.
Rival social network Instagram implemented a similar feature in 2019, using artificial intelligence to identify potentially negative comments and asking people if they really wanted to post it. Last summer, Twitter in a bid to slow the spread of misinformation experimented with a feature asking users to read an article before sharing it.
TikTok further noted that it has partnered with the Cyberbullying Research Center, an organization whose mission is to "develop sound research about cyberbullying and related forms of abuse/misuse." Together, they will work to advance knowledge of bulling online and in the real world, and come up with ways to better support the community.
Masthead courtesy Daniel Constante