TikTok is testing a way for users to “dislike” comments in an effort to help people “feel more in control” over what they are seeing. The company revealed the experiment in a blog post about its most recent community guidelines enforcement report, which tracks how TikTok is enforcing its safety policies.
For now, TikTok hasn’t provided many details about exactly how the feature will work or what it looks like. Some users who appear to be part of the test have shared screenshots of a thumbs down button appearing next to the heart in videos’ comment sections. The company did specify that individual users will have no way of knowing if their comment has been disliked, so it seems that dislike counts will not be viewable in the same way that likes are. (The screenshots show no numbers next to the thumbs down.)
“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 demoralize creators, only the person who registered a dislike on a comment will be able to see that they have done so.”
The subject of “dislikes” on social media has been somewhat of a controversial topic. YouTube, which had public dislikes for years, recently made dislike counts saying that the feature was contributing to targeted harassment on the platform. Though some creators welcomed the move, it’s proved so controversial that even one of YouTube’s co-founders has the change.
In TikTok’s case, it sounds like dislikes will be much more limited than how YouTube has used them, at least for now. The company has so far suggested the feature is meant to help inform how it ranks comments and give creators a way to control which ones are most visible.