TikTok is developing a feature that allows users to “dislike” remarks to make people “feel more in control” of what they watch. The experiment was revealed in a blog post on TikTok’s most recent community rules enforcement report, examining how the firm enforces its safety policies.
TikTok hasn’t revealed many specifics about how the feature will operate or what it will look like. Some individuals who claim to be a part of the test have tweeted screenshots of a thumbs-down icon next to the heart in video comment sections on Twitter. Individual users will not know if their remark has been disliked. Therefore, dislike numbers will not be available in the same way that like counts are. (There are no numbers next to the thumbs down in the screenshots.)
“We’ve started testing a way to let individuals identify comments they believe to be irrelevant or inappropriate,” the company explained. “This community feedback will add to the range of factors we already use to help keep the comment section consistently relevant and a place for genuine engagement. To avoid creating ill-feeling between community members or demoralizing creators, only the person who registered a dislike on a comment will be able to see that they have done so.”
The topic of “dislikes” on social media has become fairly contentious. YouTube, which had public dislike counts for years, suddenly made the function private, claiming that it was contributing to targeted abuse on the network. Though some creators welcomed the change, it has become so divisive that even one of YouTube’s co-founders has spoken out against it.
In TikTok’s instance, it appears that dislikes will be considerably more limited than in YouTube’s scenario, at least for the time being. So far, the business has indicated that the functionality is intended to assist guide how it ranks comments and provide a means for authors to select which ones are most apparent.