TikTok is adding a dislike button for video comments, but it's not really for users.
As with any public social media platform, TikTok has its fair share of unpleasant comments, but it’s been working on a dislike button to (in theory) make identifying those comments a little easier. However, smashing that dislike button won’t make those offending comments disappear.
The new button bears a resemblance to similar buttons with similar functions across other platforms—that being a stylized 'thumbs-down'—which sits next to the heart-shaped Like button.
According to the TikTokComms Twitter account, the purpose is to give the community a more direct way of mass-sharing feedback to the service itself. Feedback on what’s considered “irrelevant or inappropriate,” which TikTok says it will use to “foster a comment section for genuine and authentic interactions.”
Comments that have been disliked won't be removed (unless they're reported and found to be deserving of it, presumably), and the number of dislikes won't be displayed. For the moment, at least, TikTok's indicated that it purely intends this as a metric for it to look at in order to create a "better experience" for its community.
The company hasn't specified what that better experience means or exactly how it will utilize dislike data. Do comments need to hit a certain number before it takes the dislikes seriously? Will comments with enough dislikes be removed by TikTok itself? Is there a system in place if a comment gets incorrectly or unfairly mass-disliked? For now, we don't know.
Dislikes for TikTok comments are currently rolling out through a global release, though a more precise timeframe hasn't been provided.