Keeping users safe, happy and un-harassed is a big focus on all the social networks, and uber-trendy TikTok is stealing a march on the incumbents by introducing the ability to filter out comments by keyword.
While sites like Facebook rely on human moderators to decide whether something said to you was OK or not (and it's always OK, unless of course you posted a female-looking nipple), TikTok thinks you have the sense to decide the kinds of things you don't want to see.
You can add keywords and phrases of up to 30 characters.
It's easy to see how this could be useful for big and small issues alike. You could filter out words like "sexy" and "stunning" so you don't have to see creepery. You could filter out a particular celebrity you're tired of being compared to. You could screen for stereotypes, insults and epithets related to your race, nationality, gender, sexuality and so on.
Basically, anything you don't want to see, you don't have to -- and that sounds smart to us.
The new feature adds to TikTok's existing security settings, which allow users to:
- Decide who can follow them
- Set their account to private
- Decide who can send them comments
- Decide who can react to their videos
- Decide who can duet with them (TikTok is special...)
- Decide who can send them messages
- Let people download their content or not
- Create a block list
The social network is also releasing a series of memey safety videos called You're In Control to help users understand the safety settings. This is especially important on TikTok because a lot of its users are younger and more vulnerable than on older social networks.
TikTok comments in a statement:
"The videos follow TikTok’s short-form video structure, star TikTok users and make use of popular memes, in-app editing tricks, and effects.
Promoting a safe and welcoming environment requires a multi-faceted approach that spans policies, settings and controls, technology, moderation, and more – but user education that ensures the protective measures being crafted resonate with the users they're developed for is equally as meaningful."
You can see all the safety videos here.