TikTok is working to “diversify” content on its For You feed to prevent people from seeing unhealthy, repetitive content.
TikTok’s algorithm has received criticism for promoting toxic content, including videos related to “sex and drugs” to minors. The video-sharing app vowed to vary suggested content to protect users from viewing too many similar videos. TikTok is experimenting with new features like allowing users to filter out words or hashtags they don’t want to see.
Social media platforms’ algorithms are under increased scrutiny, particularly as lawmakers grapple with how to regulate big technology companies. TikTok’s stated commitment to improving For You feeds suggests the company is making an effort to address the concerns of parents and politicians. Algorithms are notoriously opaque and have faced backlash for uplifting dangerous content to young users.
“We’re also working to recognize if our system may inadvertently be recommending only very limited types of content that, though not violative of our policies, could have a negative effect if that’s the majority of what someone watches, such as content about loneliness or weight loss,” the company said. “Our goal is for each person’s For You feed to feature a breadth of content, creators, and topics.”