TikTok will toggle For You recommendations to avoid ‘recurring patterns’

He plans to make some major changes to the “For You” (FYP) page, the app’s home screen. The algorithm that fills FYP with an endless stream of videos will be tweaked to prevent it from showing too much of the same types of content.

“As we continue to develop new strategies for interrupting repetitive patterns, we are looking at how our system can best change the types of content that can be recommended in a sequence,” TikTok. “That’s why we’re testing ways to avoid recommending a series of similar content – such as extreme diet, fitness, grief or separation – to protect against watching too much of a category of content that may be good as a single video but is problematic if viewed in groups.”

The service is also working on a way to determine when the algorithm displays only limited types of videos to the user. He points out that while videos about loneliness or weight loss may not violate the rules of the platform, these types of videos can have a negative impact if they make up most of what a user sees on the For You page. So, it is important to prevent this from happening.

“Our goal is for everyone’s For You feed to showcase a broad range of content, creators, and topics,” TikTok said, noting that many of the similar videos that appear in the feed do not reflect the kind of experience it wants to enhance. The service consults with the Content and Community Advisory Board, as well as experts in the fields of medicine, clinical psychology, and AI ethics.

In addition, TikTok is developing an option that allows users to block videos associated with certain words or hashtags on the For You page. This will give them more control over what they see on the home screen.

FYP is TikTok’s secret sauce and one of the main reasons why the app has been so incredibly popular. The app’s systems monitor users’ interaction habits, such as how long the screen stays on a certain piece of content and which videos someone likes, to determine what types of videos might make them FYP addicted.

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in October on the impact of social media on children and teens, TikTok, Youtube, and Snap are on many fronts. Among them was how their algorithms could promote content about issues such as self-harm.

The latest TikTok announcement may help allay lawmakers’ fears. The platform notes that it will take some “time and iteration” to make these changes to systems and tools and implement them correctly.

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