TikTok has been flooded by an array of strange and meaningless comments.
The phrases – “story time?” and “crop” – are being posted under a host of videos. But perhaps the most intriguing one of all is one that jokes “You can’t get this emoji”, alongside a smiling face and a triangle.
That unusual-looking emoji has been around for some time, often joked about as an “illegal emoji”. It is indeed unusual, and not accessible through the usual emoji keyboard.
Anyone can in fact get the emoji, however, just by copying and pasting it. Long-pressing on any of the comments will give the option to “copy” it, and the emoji will be a part of that, ready to be pasted anywhere – including in the comments on any other video.
That useful trick is presumably the reason the emoji has spread so quickly: initially confusing, but actually straightforward, the comment is fun to copy and paste across the app. It does not appear to have any deeper meaning than that.
But just as useful as the copy and pasting trick, at least for some people, might be the option to hide those comments so that they don’t fill up the replies to videos. Thankfully, that is relatively simple too, since TikTok offers the option to ban any comments with any words in it.
That is done using TikTok’s ‘Filter Keywords’ feature, which was added a couple of years ago with the intention of helping the platform be “fun and safe”, it said at the time.
It is accessed by clicking onto your profile and clicking through to the profile settings screen. There, you can choose ‘Privacy and Safety’ and then ‘Filter Comments’, which gives the option to ‘Filter by Keywords’ and then choose those words.
Users can then add the text from those comments – or anything else they don’t want to see – and the messages will be hidden, even if they are visible to everyone else.