All the TikTok features available to keep you safe from online trolls

A creator's guide to keeping yourself safe on TikTok.
All the TikTok features available to keep you safe from online trolls

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We’ve previously spoken about how Instagram protects creators from online trolls, but what about TikTok? How does TikTok’s safety features work?

As a quick refresher, online trolls are social media users who intentionally bully others online. They typically leave offensive and hurtful comments on posts, send negative and uncalled-for DMs, and deliberately provoke hateful interactions. 

Creators who are regularly in the spotlight are highly susceptible to the impact of trolls. There’s no shortage of creators who will tell you that their life has been negatively impacted by the cruel words of these online bullies.

Social platforms, like TikTok, have a responsibility to keep their users safe. That’s where safety features come in.

Today, we’re unpacking the top safety features available on TikTok that aim to protect creators from online trolls.

9 TikTok features available to keep you safe from online trolls

1. Comment filters

When it comes to online trolls, the comment section is their weapon of choice.

When comments are deliberately nasty, creators can feel vulnerable and unsafe. Especially if the comments are regarding sensitive topics or particular insecurities. 

This is where the comment filter is especially helpful. It allows creators to filter who can comment on their posts. You can filter comments in a few different ways – either for everyone, followers that follow you back, or no one. 

You also have the option to filter out offensive comments or sensitive keywords. So if someone comments a nasty message which uses one of your keywords, TikTok will remove it automatically so neither you nor your audience will see it.

There is also an option to filter all comments so that the only comments that show up are those that are approved by you. This is a little more time consuming but a great option if your videos always seem to land in front of the wrong people who have something nasty to say.

To set comment filters, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Account’, select ‘Privacy’
  5. Under ‘Safety’, select ‘Comments’
  6. This page will let you change all of your comment filter settings
comment-filters

2. Content preferences

Similarly, if you want to filter out certain types of content in your ‘Following’ and ‘For you’ feeds, TikTok allows users to set content preferences. 

This feature allows you to add video keywords or hashtags, such as ‘diet’ or #diet. That way TikTok can filter out any videos that contain this word or hashtag in the video’s description, caption, or stickers, keeping your feeds clear from unwanted content you may find harmful or offensive.

You can add as many video keywords as you want, however, TikTok does state that ‘certain keywords can’t be filtered’. 

To set content preferences, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Content & activity’, select ‘Content preferences’
  5. Click on ‘Filter video keywords’
  6. Click ‘Add keyword’ and start creating your list 
content-preferences

3. Screen time management

This feature is targeted at all the people who spend too much time aimlessly scrolling through TikTok, which, let’s be honest, is almost all of us! 

It’s so easy to get into a scrolling loop on TikTok, because the videos are so short and entertaining. With this digital wellbeing feature, users are able to track their screen time in the app and set screen time breaks – a great way to stop yourself falling down the rabbit hole.

It also allows users to set reminders to get off the app when they’ve been scrolling for hours on end. This isn’t just a great tool to help you limit your screen time and nurture mindful social media use, but it also limits the possibility of you coming into contact with online trolls if you were to keep on scrolling.

To manage your screen time, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Content & activity’, select ‘Digital wellbeing’
  5. Manage all of your screen time settings from this page
screentime-management

4. Restricted mode 

For users who don’t want to be shown certain content, restricted mode allows you to enjoy TikTok with restrictions in place that limit harmful content and filter any age-sensitive content.

It’s an ideal setting for younger users, or those who want to use the app to keep up with trends and brands without the danger of being exposed to mature themes.

TikTok tells us:

“Restricted Mode is an option at the account settings level that limits the appearance of content that may not be appropriate for all audiences.”

To access restricted mode, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Content & activity’, select ‘Digital wellbeing’
  5. Select ‘Restricted mode’
  6. Select ‘Turn restricted mode on’
tiktok-restricted-mode

5. Mention and tag restrictions

Tags and mentions are a great way to connect with people and create collaborative content.

But sometimes they can be used in a negative way by online trolls. If a creator feels like they’re being mentioned or tagged in a way that is deliberately harmful, they can select who can tag or mention them in content and limit unwanted connections.

Users might also want the privacy of knowing that no one is able to mention them without their consent. It’s another way to put the power back in your hands and keep any negativity under control.

To set mention and tag restrictions, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Account’, select ‘Privacy’
  5. Under ‘Safety’, select ‘Mentions and tags’
  6. Set all of your mention and tag restrictions on this page
tiktok-tag-mention-feature

6. Duet and Stitch limits

Similarly, the Duet and Stitch features are a great way to create collaborative content with others on the app. 

But in an effort to boost safety, users can select who can duet or stitch their videos.

They can opt to allow everyone to duet and stitch their content, only followers that they follow back, or no one. This enables an extra layer of control over who is repurposing your content.

To set Duet and Stitch limits, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Account’, select ‘Privacy’
  5. Under ‘Safety’, select either ‘Duet’ or ‘Stitch, depending on which settings you’d like to change
tiktok-duet-stitch-limits

7. Blocking

For a lot of creators, features like duet and stitch are a great way to start the conversation and engage new audiences. So to have to turn this feature off completely, because they are receiving negative duets or stitches, isn’t always a good option.

In these cases, users might decide to block certain users. This means they never have the option to view, comment, or engage with your content or profile in any way, shape, or form.

To block an account, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok 
  2. Go to the account’s profile 
  3. Click the three dots in the upper right corner
  4. Click ‘Block’ and read the pop up message from TikTok before selecting ‘Block’ 
  5. To unlock an account, head into your ‘Settings and privacy’, and under ‘Privacy’ go to ‘Blocked accounts’
tiktok-blocking-feature
tiktok-blocking-feature-two

8. Reporting 

TikTok’s reporting feature is pretty solid. When a video is reported and TikTok believes it goes against their Community Guidelines, it is usually taken down very quickly.

With a full feedback form, TikTok is able to discern what the problem is with the video and allows users to feel heard and supported when they find content offensive or harmful.

The reporting feature puts the power back in the user’s hands, so they can report any content they deem inappropriate for themselves and their community. 

To report a post, you need to:

  1. Click the Share button on the post, which can be found under the Save button on the right hand side of the video
  2. Click ‘Report’, select a reason, and hit ‘Submit’
tiktok-reporting-feature

9. Filtered direct messaging 

TikTok’s direct messaging feature is unlike anything we’ve seen. As a default setting when you first create your TikTok account, users can’t DM you if you’re not following them back. This gives creators the security of knowing that anyone and everyone on TikTok doesn’t have the ability to spam their DMs with offensive or inappropriate messages.

You can change this default setting if you wish so that no one can DM you. This gives you even more control over who can and can’t contact you, keeping unwanted messages, attention, or abuse to a minimum.

To filter your direct messages, you need to:

  1. Open TikTok
  2. Go to your Profile
  3. Hit the three lines in the upper right corner and click on ‘Settings and privacy’
  4. Under ‘Account’, select ‘Privacy’
  5. Under ‘Safety’, select ‘Direct messages’
  6. Manage all of your DM settings from this page
tiktok-filtered-DMs

If you weren’t already aware before reading this article, it’s clear that TikTok takes their app safety controls very seriously.

As a creator, educating yourself on these features and how to use them is a great way to stay safe online and protect yourself from those nasty trolls.

Do you also use Instagram? Here are 14 Instagram features available to keep you safe from online trolls.

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