TikTok is finally listening
February 2023

By Emily Ryan

No more reaching the ‘wrong side of TikTok’.

TikTok strike System

TikTok has announced several changes to its service, including increased tests of new user-facing tools that will force a refresh of the app’s For You feed, and a new penalty system to strike out users who are abusing the platform.

TikTok’s system so far includes a variety of penalties, like temporary bans on posting or commenting, designed to reduce harmful content getting out. But this doesn’t seem to be enough to keep repeat offenders at bay. “Repeat violators tend to follow a pattern – our analysis has found that almost 90% violate using the same feature consistently, and over 75% violate the same policy category repeatedly”.

As a result, TikTok will move instead to a strike system, in all but the most severe cases, creators will accrue strikes as their content is removed. If they then reach a threshold of strikes within either a product feature (like comments or TikTok LIVE), or policy (like bullying or harassment), they will be permanently banned. So don’t worry, TikTok isn’t going after bad lip syncing and users with questionable dance moves, just the rule breakers.

Here is the official list of TikTok violations that could gain you a strike against your account or a complete ban:

  • Dangerous acts and challenges
  • Suicide, self-harm, and disordered eating
  • Adult nudity and sexual activities
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Hateful behaviour
  • Violent extremism
  • Integrity and authenticity
  • Illegal activities and regulated goods
  • Violent and graphic content
  • Copyright and trademark infringement
  • Platform security
  • Ineligible for the For You Feed

Time for a refresh

Soon, TikTok will allow some users to tap a new “Refresh” button to receive an updated set of For You feed recommendations. Though TikTok’s feed is highly personalized and addictive, many complain the content becomes stale as it doesn’t add enough variety after some time. With the new refresh button, which will be available in account settings, users will be able to force the app to bring “new, diversified content not based on previous activity or interactions” to their For You feed.

TikTok is widely used as a source of information and can be a powerful tool for the younger generation in terms of education, as well as bringing people comfort when they need it. However, when the algorithm brings these people to ‘the wrong side of TikTok’, the exposure to users abusing the platform can cause some serious damage. These updates are a massive step forward towards weeding out some of the worst offenders in the app. This will provide more protection for vulnerable users as they gain the power to distance themselves from harmful or triggering content online. This is a massive step forward in terms of making social media a safer place when it comes to mental health.

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