TikTok releases major new ‘For You’ feature as threats of bans mount

App has been looking for ways to stop users getting stuck in toxic, repetitive loops

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 16 March 2023 18:15 GMT
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TikTok will now let people “refresh” their For You Page, amid increasing threats of bans on the app.

The company released the new feature as the UK said that it was banning TikTok from official devices, and the US threatened it with a total ban if parent company Bytedance did not sell the company.

As those bans were announced, TikTok said it would now allow users to completely refresh their feeds, in an attempt to make the recommendations more fresh.

If users press the button, the feed will reset, and they will see recommendations as if they were new to the app.

It will then start surfacing new clips based on new interactions, TikTok said.

The option can be found from within the Settings and privacy options in the TikTok app.

It is one of a range of updates focused on making TikTok a less toxic and repetitive place to be. It follows other similar tools, such as the option to hide specific words and phrases from the feed and to click “not interested” on particular videos.

TikTok said it was aware that can get stuck in repetitive content, which may become harmful if it is focused on themes such as “sadness or extreme diets”. It will not ban those videos entirely, but will swap them with other topics in an attempt to reduce the number of times they show up.

That is an attempt to reduce the amount of videos that people see that are not against the rules but can harm people if they are watched many times.

TikTok does remove specific content that does violate its policies, however, such as those that promote self-harm.

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