What is bullying?
Bullying can be defined in many ways, but it typically involves targeted, repeated behavior that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. The behavior can be carried out online or offline by an individual or a group who misuse their power, or perceived power, over another person or group of people who feel unable to stop it from happening.
We recognize that bullying can cause severe distress to those who experience it, and we do not tolerate it on our platform. TikTok is a global community that thrives on creativity and expression, and it is critical that people feel safe to express themselves without fear of bullying or harassment on the platform.
Identifying bullying behavior
There are various types of bullying behaviors that individuals or groups use to intimidate, degrade, or disempower others. Learn more about common forms of bullying.
Did you know?
- Bullying affects those who bully, those who are bullied, and even those who witness bullying.
- Bystanders, people who see bullying, can play an important role in stopping bullying behavior.
- It’s quite common for people to be bullied by people they know (e.g. classmate, friend, colleague).
- Bullying can occur in almost any social environment, including in schools, online, in the playground, and at work.
- People who are bullied can also bully others. Those who engage in it often intimidate others in order to regain a sense of power or control that was lost in another area of their life.
There are many ways TikTok encourages people to interact with each other through comments, direct messages, live chat, Duet, Stitch, and more. They’re all part of what makes an online community engaging, but, like communication anywhere, also carry the risk of hurtful interactions. To foster a welcoming and supportive community, we have various app settings that allow individuals to control their TikTok experience. These settings may vary depending on your region and version of the app.
Users must first pass through an age gate to get into the TikTok experience. Users below the age of 13 are not allowed on the platform. If we determine that a user under the age of 13 is using or posting content on TikTok, they will be removed.
By default, accounts for individuals under 16 are set to private which means you can approve or deny follower requests, and only people you’ve approved as followers can see your content. Accounts for individuals who are over 16 start out as public, which means anyone on TikTok can view your videos and post comments, or start a Duet to engage with the content you’ve created and shared. You can easily change this in your Privacy settings. Learn how
Control who messages you
Direct messages (DMs) provide a way for community members to communicate privately. Direct messages can be set to ‘Friends’ (followers that you follow back) or ‘No one.’ For users who are 16 and older, the default setting is ‘Friends.’ Only registered accounts who are 16 and older are eligible for Direct Messages and it’s one of the features that a parent can control directly when Family Pairing is turned on. Learn how
Who can Duet and Stitch with you
While a Duet can be a fun way to explore your creativity, you get to decide who can Duet with you. You can choose one setting for all your videos, or make that decision for each video individually. Only videos shared by users 16 and above with public accounts are eligible for Duet and Stitch. Users who are 16 and above can choose whether ‘Everyone,’ ‘Friends,’ or ‘No one’ can Duet or Stitch with their videos. The default setting is ‘Friends.’ Learn how
Who can comment on your videos
If you’re under age 16, in settings, you’ll see this set as ‘Friends’. This means only those who follow you and who you follow back can comment on your videos. You can change this to ‘No one’ to stop others from commenting on your videos based on your preference. If you are 16 or 17 years old, in settings you’ll see this function set to ‘Everyone’. You can change this if you prefer to limit who is able to comment on your videos. Regardless of the option you choose, all comments should adhere to our Community Guidelines. You also have the ability to delete any inappropriate comments posted on your videos. Just tap and hold the comment, then choose “delete”. Learn how
With comment filters turned on, offensive comments will automatically be hidden. You can also create a custom list of keywords so that comments containing those words will be hidden automatically, too. You can decide who can comment on your videos in general by adjusting your Privacy settings. Learn how
Remove a follower
You can delete a follower at any time, or permanently block an account from being able to view your content or send you messages. Learn how
Dealing with bullying
If you ever feel someone is harassing you or otherwise being inappropriate, help is available. If you are experiencing bullying on TikTok, please report them so our moderation team can review and take appropriate action if it violates TikTok’s Community Guidelines.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:
- Internet Matters’s Conversation Guides on Cyberbullying: resources for parents and caregivers who want to learn more about bullying and how to support their teens.