TikTok has been working on its dislike button since the pre-COVID days. Now, that feature has been rolled out worldwide.
In a series of tweets, the short-form video app announced that users around the world can now give a thumbs down to any comment they deem improper, hateful, or spammy. Like on YouTube, dislike counts will be hidden from the public, and the negative feedback will be mainly be used to “better identify irrelevant or inappropriate comments.”
🔔 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
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— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) September 23, 2022
Though TikTok’s dislike button has been in the works for more than two years, the platform officially announced the feature back in April. At the time, TikTok said it was testing dislikes in regions outside of the U.S. The most recent update brings that feedback option to TikTok users around the globe.
Disliking a comment is as simple as tapping the thumbs-down icon, but don’t expect the general public to see your complaint. YouTube received widespread criticism when it nixed public dislike counts last November, but CEO Susan Wojcicki argued that the data backed up her company’s controversial decision. She told Ludwig Ahgren that small creators were disproportionately affected by dislike mobs, so YouTube chose to stick up for the long tail of its community. “We have to do what is the right thing for the ecosystem as a whole,” Wojcicki said.
TikTok seems to be rolling out its dislike button with a similar mission in mind. “Our main priority with this feature is to create a better experience for our community,” reads a recent tweet from the @TikTokComms account. “With this in mind, the total number of dislikes a comment has will not be shown and people can take back their feedback by tapping again whenever they like.”
As TikTok launches its dislike button, it is also stepping up its moderation of rule-breaking content. The ByteDance-owned app recently shared some telling stats from the second quarter of 2022. Here’s one notable number: TikTok purged 59.4 million accounts over a three-month span.
TechCrunch noted that Twitter has also been testing dislikes for over a year. That platform recently made view counts more visible as part of its data-driven strategy. The launch of dislikes would be a logical next step.