You now have a way to show your disapproval of hurtful (or simply pointless) TikTok comments. In the wake of a test this spring, TikTok has started the global rollout for a comment 'dislike' button. As with other social networks, you can tap a thumbs-down button to express your displeasure, or undo the action if you've had second thoughts.
The company bills the feature as another way to get feedback regarding "irrelevant or inappropriate" comments. Ideally, a comment with a large volume of dislikes will warn TikTok about hate speech, spam or trolling that it might otherwise miss. That, in turn, could promote healthier comment sections.
🔔 New feature incoming. Earlier this year, we started to test a new way people could identify comments they believe to be irrelevant or inappropriate. After some testing, we're releasing it globally. 📲 Read on for 3 fast facts
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 23, 2022
Before you ask: yes, TikTok is aware of the potential for abuse. Like YouTube, TikTok won't show dislike counts. A mob might have less incentive to downvote comments it disagrees with. TikTok hasn't said if it will crack down against misuses of the button, but we've asked the company for clarification.
This isn't the only moderation tool at TikTok's disposal, and the combined resources could help the company get a handle on comment sections that all too frequently go downhill. With that in mind, it's not clear how effective the dislike button might be given TikTok's challenges with enforcing its policies. TikTok still has problems controlling misinformation, for instance. Dislikes might help, but they don't represent a surefire fix.