17 March 2021
TikTok launch new tools to promote kindness
TikTok has introduced two new features to help tackle cyberbullying and promote more positive interactions amongst users. The updates will give creators more control over what comments can appear on their videos and prompt users to review comments for upsetting language before they post them.
What are the new features?
This new feature lets you review and decide which comments can appear on your videos. For example, when someone posts a comment on a video, it won’t be shown publicly until you have approved it.
This feature is automatically switched off by default. To enable it you need to:
1) Go to ‘Settings and privacy’.
2) Select ‘Privacy’ and then ‘Comment Filters’.
3) Switch on ‘Filter all comments’ so the icon is green.
You can review comments in the ‘Comment filters’ tab underneath ‘Comment management’.
All accounts set up by under 16s are set to private by default and only people who follow them can comment on their videos. Make sure to check your child has set up their account using the correct date of birth.
When anyone posts a comment they will now be given a prompt encouraging them to review their message before it gets sent to make sure it doesn’t contain any unkind language.
It will also remind users about TikTok’s Community guidelines.
What do we think?
It’s great that TikTok are introducing new features to help tackle cyberbullying and encourage people to communicate kindly with one another.
However, this feature won’t stop children who use the app from seeing upsetting messages. It only prevents them from appearing publicly before they’ve approved them. You should make sure your child is only followed by people they know on TikTok like friends from school or other offline activities and show them how to ignore friend requests. This will help to minimise the amount of people who can comment on their videos.
This feature also isn’t enabled automatically meaning that people have to actively go into their settings and switch it on. As there is no guarantee that everyone on TikTok will turn this on, your child could still see inappropriate or unkind language in the comment sections of other people’s videos. People could also choose to approve comments which are still unkind, insensitive or offensive.
Here’s what you need to do to help keep your child safe on TikTok:
1) Make sure they sign up with the correct age so their DMs are automatically switched off and their profile is set to private.
2) Set up Family Pairing to help manage your child’s account.
3) Talk to your child about the types of videos they’re watching and creating.
4) Show them how to report and block.