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TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular social media platforms with now more than 755 million users world-wide. Popular due to its short video format it is now one of the biggest platforms for trend setting videos and content.

The duet feature, unique to TikTok, is one of their most popular tools and it is where you can place your video side by side with other creators and show your reactions. It can be a very clever way to interact with creators and show your talents. However, this unique feature quickly became an instrument for bullying and harassment. People would make crude and hurtful videos directed specially towards the creators which has created a lot of conflict on the app.

The popular social media platform itself has numerous helpful anti-bullying suggestions that users or guardians should be aware of.

A couple of easy ways to prevent bullying specially to TikTok are;

  1. Updating the privacy settings to allow less reach of people to see you. You can do this by going in settings and turning your account to Private and turn off your account from being recommended to other people or being automatically synced with your contacts.
  2. Control who can and cannot Direct Message (DM) you by clicking on ‘No One’ instead of friends in privacy settings.
  3. Controlling who can duet and stich your videos. You can update this setting by clicking from ‘Everyone’ to either your ‘Friends’ or ‘Only you.’ This will stop people from creating reactions that are directly linked to your account.
  4. Updating your comments settings. There are a few options to do this. Firstly, by controlling you can comment on your videos from ‘Everyone’ to ‘Friends’ or ‘No One,’ and secondly, by filtering all comments. Either specific comments like spam or comments with offensive words, and lastly you can select specific words you don’t want posted on your videos and these will automatically be blocked from your videos.
  5. Limiting your screen time in settings by updating the minutes you would like to spend on the app
  6. By simply blocking or unfollowing someone who is bullying or treating you in an unpleasant way

At the start of February 2022 TikTok updated their community guidelines in an attempt to become a more safe and secure platform with integrity towards its users. The company is planning on updating their policies in regard to numerous issues such as eating disorders, self-harm and criticism towards the LGBTQI community. These new guidelines are to filter out content on peoples “For You” page across numerous different categories.

It is always important to know that cyberbullying on TikTok is just the same as other social media platforms, so it’s important to look out for signs you might be experiencing such as anxiety, mood changes and social distancing and to know you’re not alone and that there’s no shame in reaching out or deleting the app all together.

– Written by Kristen Sly