THE VERGE: TikTok hired some of its best animators for an anti-bullying campaign
Los York teamed up with the chosen TikTok creators and collaborated with each individual on how they wanted to highlight their negative experiences within the TikTok community. The TikTok creators also helped give positive feedback and ideas on how to promote kindness throughout the TikTok.
Starting today, you might see some beautiful new animations posted to TikTok’s accounts. The company has partnered with six of its platform’s popular animators — several of whom were featured in The Verge last year — to make videos for a campaign against bullying. The videos were all written and created by the animators and are meant to offer their perspective on the pressures faced by creators on the platform, even ones who are blowing up.
The spots also highlight TikTok’s vibrant animation community. The platform has been a boon for animators, who have found that its short format makes it possible for them to create good and consistent output that stands apart from the pack and that hooks viewers. One of the creators, King Science, has 11.6 million followers, putting him among the platform’s most followed users. The campaign also features AmyRightMeow, Recokh, Kelly Emmrich, Rosie.gif, and milkymichii.
TikTok views the campaign as one part of its strategy to combat harassment. While teams of moderators may be the first thing that comes to mind, TikTok says another flank is the tone and expectations the company sets for its community. The company wants to make sure that users know the rules, so that if your video gets taken down it’s “not the only time you’re thinking of what community guidelines are, so it’s not like you’re in the principal’s office,” Tara Wadhwa, director of policy for TikTok US, told The Verge.
The company has made a number of updates to its app over the past year to improve its anti-harassment measures. There’s now a pop-up that’ll warn users if it detects they’re posting a mean comment, and creators now have the ability to report and block users and delete comments in bulk.
Those measures aren’t necessarily going to protect every creator — the platform is filled with amorphous communities sharing vulnerable stories, and it can rocket someone to stardom overnight. “None of this is gonna be the silver bullet,” Wadhwa says. “It’s where do we want our community to go … and what are the range of strategies we can use to get there?”