TikTok gives livestreamers more ways to mute annoying people

As promised in July, TikTok is rolling out more ways for livestreams to wrangle their unruly audiences. Now, streamers and their trusted helper will be able to temporarily mute people for minutes, hours or the length of an entire livestream. According to Eric Han, head of Tiktok’s US Safety team, muting a person will remove their entire comment history from the stream. And of course, you could also just turn off comments entirely or filter out specific keywords. Together with Tiktok’s last batch of “kindness” updates for livestreamers, the platform is aiming to create a safer environment for creators.

Han says the prompts TikTok added in July — which pop up to make you think twice about posting an “unkind or harmful” comment — have led almost 40 percent of people editing or withdrawing their comment entirely. That’s not too surprising, as Twitter found a similar feature also led to reduced bullying.

Given Tiktok’s meteoric rise as a relatively young social network, it’s apparently learned quite a bit from the struggles of older outfits like Facebook and Twitter. Based on its Q2 Community Guidelines Enforcement Report, the company says it’s also getting better at weeding out improper videos. Han says 73.3 percent of harassment videos were removed before there were any user reports, whereas that figure was 66.2 percent in the previous quarter. Similarly, 72.9 percent of videos showing hateful behavior were removed in the second quarter, compared to 67.3 percent previously. 

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