You now have a way to show your disapproval of offensive (or just plain mean) comments on TikTok. Following a test this spring, TikTok began the global rollout of the dislike button for comments. As with other social networks, you can tap a thumbs down button to express your displeasure or undo the action if you change your mind.
The company bills the feature as another way to get feedback on “inappropriate or inappropriate” comments. Ideally, a comment with a high number of dislikes will alert TikTok to hate speech, spam, or trolling that it might otherwise miss. This in turn could encourage healthier comment sections.
Before you ask: yes, TikTok is aware of the potential for abuse. Like YouTube, TikTok will not display the number of dislikes. The crowd may have less incentive to downvote comments they disagree with. TikTok hasn’t said whether it will crack down on abuse 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 tackle comment sections that all too often go downhill. With that in mind, it’s unclear how effective the dislike button can be given TikTok’s challenges in enforcing its policies. TikTok still has trouble controlling misinformation, for example. Dislikes may help, but are not a surefire solution.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.