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TikTok Expands Test of Downvotes for Video Replies, Adds New Prompts to Highlight its Safety Tools

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TikTok Expands Test of Downvotes for Video Replies, Adds New Prompts to Highlight its Safety Tools


After years of internal tests and experiments with downvote options in social apps, we’re now seeing more platforms actually try them out – though not exactly in the way that many would have assumed, based on past discussion.

TikTok is the latest platform to test out a downvote option, with some users now seeing downvote prompts enabling them to mark video replies that they don’t want to see.

As explained by TikTok:

“We’ve started testing a way to let individuals identify comments they believe to be irrelevant or inappropriate. This community feedback will add to the range of factors we already use to help keep the comment section consistently relevant and a place for genuine engagement. To avoid creating ill-feeling between community members or demoralize creators, only the person who registered a dislike on a comment will be able to see that they have done so.

As you can see in the above example (posted by social media expert Matt Navarra), some users are now seeing a ‘thumbs down’ icon at the right of video replies, which enables them to signal their disinterest, or dissatisfaction, with the comment. TikTok first began experimenting with the option back in 2020, but is now expanding the option to a wider pool of users.

TikTok hasn’t outlined how this will impact comment ranking, and whether this will lead to a change in how it displays comments for individual users, or overall, but the idea is that this will give it more feedback on what users don’t like, enabling it to further refine its systems to prioritize the most relevant and engaging remarks.

So it’s not exactly a downvote option like you see on Reddit, where the community dictates the ranking of replies. But it could be, eventually, depending on how TikTok decides to go with those insights.

As noted, several platforms are testing similar, with Facebook also trying out downvotes for replies, and Twitter also working on the same. Maybe that’ll lead to variable ranking of responses, or maybe it’ll help the platforms detect more trends and patterns in negative replies for enhanced action on such. By being vague about how the response data is being utilized, they leave the door open for different approaches, but you would assume that, eventually, this will enable better comment ranking, which could help to improve engagement.

Really, it could be better to follow a Reddit model, with users able to see the full data on responses that their comments elicit, so that they then better understand the community response to their remarks, which could be a better educational feedback loop to encourage more civil interaction. But at the same time, there is a hesitancy in adding potentially negative feedback like this, and with so few Twitter users actually posting comments already (10% of Twitter users create 80% of tweet content, according to research), that’s probably not the best way to encourage broader interaction in each app.

For context, past analysis has suggested that more than 98% of Reddit’s monthly active users don’t ever post or comment in the app.

In addition to comment downvotes, TikTok is also experimenting with new reminders that will guide creators to its comment filtering and bulk block and delete options.

“The reminders will be shown to creators whose videos appear to be receiving a high proportion of negative comments. We will continue to remove comments that violate our Community Guidelines, and creators can continue to report comments or accounts individually or in bulk for us to review.

TikTok will also now enable users to create reports in the app via video, adding another way to provide more context in your reports, while also better aligning with app usage behavior.

TikTok video reports

In combination, the new tools will enhance the feedback loop for TikTok users, and provide more insight for TikTok to further refine and improve its systems, which could help to make it a safer, more welcoming, and more engaging in-app experience.





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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

Looking to map out your content calendar for the year ahead?

This will help – Twitter has published its annual events calendar, which highlights all of the key dates and celebrations that you need to keep in mind in your planning.

The interactive calendar provides a solid overview of important dates, which could assist in your strategy. You can also filter the list by region, and by event type.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

You can also download any specific listing, though the download itself is pretty basic – you don’t get, like, a pretty calendar template that you can stick on your wall or anything.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

Twitter used to publish downloadable calendars, but switched to an online-only display a couple of years back. Which still includes all the same info, but isn’t as cool looking.

Either way, it may help in your process, as you map out your 2023 approach.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also published an overview of some of the major events that it’ll be looking to highlight in the app throughout the year, along with a pitch to advertisers, amid the more recent chaos at the app.

As per Twitter:

We’re moving more quickly than ever, and we’re still the place people turn to see and talk about what’s happening. A great example is the recent FIFA Men’s World Cup. We saw a whopping 147B impressions of event-related content on the platform, up nearly +30% from 2018. We also generated 7.1B views on World Cup video1, with everything from memes to nail-biter outcomes to history being made.”

There’s also this:

Not only is Twitter alive with content and conversation around big moments, but we are also growing. We saw global mDAU acceleration in Q4 to 253.1M, driven by an average sign-up rate of more than 1 million new daily users across Q42.”

That’s the first official usage stat Twitter has shared since Elon Musk took over at the app, and is a significant jump on the 238 million mDAU that Twitter reported in Q2 last year, its last market update before the sale went through.

It’ll be interesting to see if that usage level holds, as Twitter works through its latest changes and updates.

You can check out Twitter’s 2023 marketing calendar here.



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‘Stop the hate’ online, UN chief pleads on Holocaust Day

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A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Copyright AFP Michal Cizek

The UN secretary-general warned of social media’s role in spreading violent extremism around the globe as he marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, urging policy makers to help stop online hate.

Antonio Guterres said parts of the internet were turning into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies” that were driving “extremism from the margins to the mainstream.”

“Today, I am issuing an urgent appeal to everyone with influence across the information ecosystem,” Guterres said at a commemoration ceremony at the United Nations. “Stop the hate. Set up guardrails. And enforce them.”

He accused social media platforms and advertisers of profiting off the spread of hateful content.

“By using algorithms that amplify hate to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit,” added Guterres. “And so are the advertisers subsidizing this business model.”

Guterres drew parallels with the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, when people didn’t pay attention or protest.

“Today, we can hear echoes of those same siren songs to hate. From an economic crisis that is breeding discontent to populist demagogues using the crisis to seduce voters to runaway misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech.”

He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism, which he said also reflects a rise of all kinds of hate.

“And what is true for anti-Semitism is true for other forms of hate. Racism. Anti-Muslim bigotry. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny”

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Weird of the Week

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Weird of the Week

What happened when six doctors swallowed Lego heads for science, and the results of Santa’s DNA test. Plus, is Dolly Parton really recording an album with Slipknot?

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