TikTok announced on Thursday plans to change the content shown on its For You page (FYP), the app’s home screen.
The app said it wants to switch up the algorithm for the FYP with the goal of breaking up clusters of videos on topics it deems harmful.
“As we continue to develop new strategies to interrupt repetitive patterns, we’re looking at how our system can better vary the kinds of content that may be recommended in a sequence,” TikTok wrote in a blog post.
The company added that they are working hard to recognize if their system “inadvertently” recommends limited types of content that could have negative mental health implications on someone if that’s the majority of what they consume.
The social media giant cited loneliness, extreme dieting, fitness, sadness, and breakup posts as specific types of content that are fine to consume in a single video, but “problematic if viewed in clusters,” as it can “reinforce a negative personal experience.”
TikTok said their research is being informed by experts across the board, including doctors, clinical psychologists, and AI ethics experts, as well as the community.
The algorithm currently in place for the FYP uses metrics like how long a viewer hovers over content to generate the rest of the feed.
For example, if a user watches a financial advice video, the FYP will recommend more of those types of videos.
This feature has been scrutinized in the past, especially after The Wall Street Journal conducted an investigation that showed just how easily young people can access a seemingly infinite stream of sex and drugs content.
The company, which surpassed more than 1 billion users in September, said that both their user’s safety and promoting diverse content is important to them.
They’re hoping that by adjusting the current algorithm that each person’s For You feed will feature a “breadth of content, creators, and topics.”
TikTok also announced plans for a feature that would allow users to flag and customize what type of content they don’t want to see.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.