TikTok’s Toxicity From Hate Comments
In the past few years, TikTok used to be a platform most people think it is dumb to use. However, TikTok is now becoming one of the big social media platforms. There has been an increasing number of people who use TikTok since the covid-19 situation. According to Forbes, this platform was globally on #1 on the iOS app store which also earns profit the most in April-June of 2020. Even now, it is still on the top charts of the iOS app store.
As there is the growth in popularity of TikTok, there is also the rise of hate/bad comments. The way TikTok enables content creators to approach their users easily leads to people being able to comment on things easily, including the bad ones.
‘Have you ever seen bad comments on TikTok?’
Most videos that go viral on TikTok always come with bad comments, more or less. If you have never seen a large number of bad comments, you can simply go on Tiktok, find some viral videos and you will surely see it.
Despite the fact that there has been a variety of campaigns on social media that are against cyberbullying, some people still enjoy making fun of others’ physical appearances.
Body shaming and bullying are notable issues on the platform which still cannot be completely solved. Content creators who are beautiful, skinny, or handsome will be able to get attention easily on TikTok, whereas people who might not fit in the beauty standard will receive bad comments which bully their appearances. Some people who use TikTok rely on filters for being more good looking for their own satisfaction; nevertheless, users on the platform might insult you for being beautiful because of the filters. This means, whether you fit in the beauty standard or not, you might be able to get bad comments on TikTok anyway. Undeniably, this platform has become toxic due to its own users.
As a result of a large number of hate comments on TikTok, many YouTubers create content by reading their hate comments on TikTok. It is such heartbreaking content to read curses from people who do not even know them.
Danielle Cohn, one of the famous TikTokers, also created her youtube video reading her hate comments on TikTok. She is also the one who gets bad comments despite doing nothing wrong. People on TikTok spread hate on her just for fun. She also mentioned, “If you don’t think I’m cute, there’s an unfollow button.”
“If I had a face like yours, I would sue my parents”
“its cuz ur BLACK”
“That is funny but……Gayyyy!!!”
“The way she dressed makes her look cheap”
“Zoom Zoom to the gym”
These are all actual hate comments gathered from TikTok trending videos. They include issues such as body shaming, racism, bullying, misogyny, and so on. Harsh comments have widely been used towards content creators on TikTok. Many users tend to use cruel words for their own satisfaction without thinking how the owner of each video will feel after reading it.
‘TikTok is so toxic’
The reason why there are many bad comments on TikTok is that most users are still at a young age. Most TikTok users in the U.S. at 25 percent, are between 10-19 years old, according to Statista. This particular group of users might not be able to distinguish between what they should do or what they should not do.
- Toxic beauty standard
TikTok’s algorithm is full of famous, skinny, pretty, or handsome people. This makes people convinced to believe that everyone has to be in the same way, which leads to having no place for people not fitting in this toxic beauty standard. There is even a filter in the application that is used to calculate how many percentages your beauty is.
- Public space
In today’s world, social media platforms are deemed as public spaces. As a consequence, people think they have the right to criticize everything which is posted on social media. Since it is posted publicly, they can comment on whatever they would like to.
- Short video
Content creators on TikTok often cut full video from trending issues to grab the viewer’s attention within 30 seconds or more. This leads to misunderstanding as it changes the purpose of each video. Moreover, it can create controversy towards individuals in society.
Many users do not consider other people’s privacy. Most TikTokers shoot their videos outside and unintentionally capture others’ faces. Some fun contents on TikTok also infringe on the right to privacy by shooting them without their permission.
‘It might not be a platform but it is people’
How will TikTok solve these issues?
As a result of the unsolved hate comments problem, there should be tools to combat bad comments to protect TikTok’s content creators from being sexually harassed, being bullied and being spread hate.
There are also features such as reporting in order to inform TikTok if there are dangerous acts. In fact, TikTok has already launched tools to prevent hate comments as their goal is to create a positive environment in their platform.
- Reconsider Tool
This is a tool for users that will appear before posting a comment if the comments tend to have sensitive keywords or offensive words in the TikTok’s Community Guidelines. Its purpose is to allow users to rethink whether they will still post this comment or edit it.
- Comment filters Tool
A tool for creators to choose if they would like to approve before the comments appear on their videos. Creators have to go to settings and turn on ‘Filter All Comments.’ The comments that users post will not appear until there is approval by the content creators. This tool will enable the content creator to filter hate comments users would like to post.
TikTok is still beneficial
There are a number of people who are still willing to use TikTok despite its toxicity. This is because it is still an irrefutable fact that TikTok has rapidly become one of the major platforms with enormous growth that people can derive a number of benefits from.
- It is entertaining
TikTok is a platform that is full of creative content. Its videos consist of fun, trending songs, wonderful editing, and attractive dances. This allows us to spend our time on TikTok all day long and forget our stresses for a while as the most contents in the feed are not repetitive.
- It can be used for commercial
It is beneficial to those startup businesses as TikTok video can improve their brand awareness from both organic followers and promoted ones. Even though you have no followers, your content can still be in other users’ feeds called the ‘foryou’ page. There are an abundance of brands that have started using TikTok as a marketing strategy to promote their products.
- It’s a place where we can find new things
We can see rare contents that we might have never seen before on TikTok. It is a platform where we can continuously see new things without getting bored. There is a sharing of videos from adventurous travelers on TikTok. It is interesting as not many people will be brave enough to go on escapades. These are a collection of fantastic videos from TikTok which gain much attention.
- It increases followers
It is easier to increase engagement on TikTok compared to other platforms. TikTok users can grow their followers not only on TikTok but also on other platforms. This is because of a feature on the user’s bio which can link to accounts on other platforms such as Instagram, Youtube and Facebook.
- It is free!
The TikTok application allows everyone who simply has a smartphone to download it for free. Besides being free, there are a large number of active users on TikTok. You can engage with more than a billion audiences without paying money.
To recapitulate briefly, TikTok is like a double-edged sword, just like other social media platforms. However, there are still a remarkable number of hate comments on the platform. As we still have free speech, it might not be able to restrict or censor all bad comments. People can consider by themselves whether its advantages outweigh the toxicity or not.
Due to the fact that there is no age restriction for TikTok users, youths who do not have enough discretion can also approach the platform. Lately, there are plenty of users on TikTok who warn people who comment negatively. This is an improvement for TikTok as people tended to comment harshly without thinking in the past few years.
Although the platform itself has features to prevent bullying comments, we can improve by starting to use better words when we comment on TikTok videos. Furthermore, we can report to TikTok if we see hate comments which might lead to bereavement, disinformation, or controversy. Additionally, a ‘Not interested’ feature also exists on TikTok. People can use it if they are not interested in a video popping up in the feed.
‘Posting bad comments or just Skipping those videos, which one is easier?’