TikTok is rolling out a feature that allows users to downvote comments, the company announcement today.
The button will appear next to likes on individual comments below videos as a thumbs down icon that users can click. The feature, first announced as a test in April, will now be available to users worldwide, according to TikTok. Users can un-vote their down-vote by clicking the button again, and only the person casting the down-vote will be able to see that they have done so.
Unlike the number of likes a comment receives, the number of downvotes is not publicly visible, suggesting that downvotes will serve more as a back-end moderation tool, although TikTok is unclear on how. it will use the downvotes. TikTok says negative comments are “a new way to hear feedback directly from [its] community” and will allow the platform to better identify “irrelevant or inappropriate” comments. In addition to negative comments, users will always have the option to report comments for violating TikTok rules.
Other platforms like Reddit have long had the ability to downvote content, but it’s a public way for community members to report disagreement and gauge the response. More recently, Twitter experimented with something similar to TikTok’s new feature as a way for the platform to measure what users find relevant and then adjust the responses that appear.