Social media platform TikTok is a fun place to take a mental break from a busy day. My feed is full of adorable puppy dogs, roller skating inspo and bad-ass martial arts. But of course, like any other social sharing platform, some content can be challenging on one’s well being. You know about algorithms, right? The more you view a topic, the more the content will skew in that direction. Technology has a way of learning and tailoring our feeds with what it believes we want to see more of.

There’s been lots of good content that has come out of the platform especially during the pandemic — I’ve get all the teary-eye feels while feeling comforted in knowing we’re not alone with the musicians playing on their balconies. Oh, and all the air attendants around the world dancing to remind us that travel will return someday. Bring on the tissues! So much of it has helped us get through months under lockdowns with words of compassion and may have even inspired us to try a dance challenge or two with our kids (sorry kids).

However, shared personal experiences on social media can sometimes weigh us down. TikTok has announced new resources to support its community’s well-being, now making it easier for users to find resources when they need them on the platform.

Some of those resources include:

  • New well-being guides: Developed with the guidance of independent experts, these are meant to support people who choose to share their personal experience on the platform and do so safely.
  • Expanded guide on eating disorders: When a user searches for terms related to eating disorders, they’ll be directed to the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, providing suggested tools and appropriate resources. TikTok is also expanding these resources with a new Safety Guide Centre on eating disorders.
  • Expanding search interventions: When someone searches for words or phrases such as #suicide, they’ll be directed to local support resources such as the Crisis Services Canada and Kids Help Phone, where they can find support and information about treatment options.
  • Strengthening notices for search results: Update to the existing warning label for sensitive content, with content having opt-in viewing options.

TikTok also partners with a range of independent experts with ongoing efforts to better support the community. This month, independent experts from leading mental well-being organizations have created videos to share their personal experiences with mental well-being, information on where to seek support and advice on how to talk to their loved ones about these issues. These videos will appear in search results, when searching for certain terms related to suicide or self-harm. Users will be able to opt-in to view.



*Lead in Photo by Paula-Ann Smit/Unsplash