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TikTok introduces anti-bullying features to 'foster kindness' in comments

The new tools are meant to help make comments posted to the video-sharing app kinder and more respectful.
The new tools are meant to provide users with "more control to shape their experience," according to a press release.
The new tools are meant to provide users with "more control to shape their experience," according to a press release.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TMRW

TikTok is introducing new features aimed at reducing bullying on the site and encouraging users to treat others on the platform with kindness.

In a press release shared after the two new features were implemented on Wednesday, the company said that their priority is "creating a safe and positive app environment that allows creative impression to thrive" and explained that the new tools will provide users with "more control to shape their experience."

The first tool, known as the "filter all comments" feature, allows creators to decide which comments will appear on their videos. The video creator will now have the choice of approving comments before they're shown publicly using technology that the site already implemented to filter for spam and specific keywords. Now, video creators can choose whether to approve a comment for publication or delete it.

The "Filter All Comments" tool lets users decide which comments they want shown publicly. TikTok

A TikTok spokesperson confirmed to TMRW that commentators will not get notified if their comment is approved or deleted.

The second feature, known as "rethink," is a new prompt that shows when a user is about to post something that may be against the site's community guidelines. When something that may be offensive or unkind is shared, a pop-up asks the commentator if they would "like to reconsider posting," and offers them the chance to edit. Users who do not want to edit the comment can hit the "post anyway" option.

One feature offers users the chance to edit comments that may violate the app's guidelines. TikTok

"We're focused on promoting a safe and entertaining experience where people can find joy and connection," said Tara Wadhwa, the director of policy for TikTok U.S., in an e-mailed statement to TMRW. "Our goal is to be a place where creativity and community can thrive, and we hope these new features help to further foster kindness and respect on TikTok."

The video-sharing app also announced a new partnership with the Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC) to develop ways to deal with bullying on the platform.

"The Cyberbullying Research Center is excited to work with TikTok in the months ahead on anti-bullying initiatives," said Dr. Sameer Hindjua, co-director of the CRC, in a press release. "TikTok's new Filter All Comments feature and Rethink feature are positive steps to promote kindness and we're eager to collaborate on further ways to protect against bullying and harassment."

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