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Ratio on TikTok: What It Means and How to Overcome It

Published August 10, 2023

TikTok is famous for many challenges and trends that spread across the platform like wildfire. Getting “ratioed” is one of them, but unlike the other trends, it didn’t originate on TikTok. Instead, the birthplace of “ratioing” is actually Twitter, where a tweet gets ratioed if it receives more comments than likes. Generally speaking, this phenomenon indicates the audience’s disagreement with the original poster.

What Is Ratio on TikTok?

Getting ratioed on TikTok is similar to experiencing it on Twitter. However, since the content on TikTok is in video format, ratioing can occur in various ways. For instance, a TikTok video gets ratioed when:

  • It receives more comments than likes because viewers largely disagree with its content;
  • A comment providing a counterpoint to the video gets more likes than the video itself;
  • The commenters reply to the video with “ratio” and rack up likes.

Naturally, videos aren’t the only content on TikTok that can get ratioed; commenters may be victims of this trend too. Ratioing works in a similar way in either case — a reply to the original comment, whether it is a counterpoint or the word “ratio,” garners more likes than the comment itself.

Can TikTok Ratios Be Good?

Although getting ratioed may not sound like a pleasant experience, ratios are not necessarily mean-spirited. In the absence of an official dislike button on a video or a dislike counter in the comment section, a ratio can serve to express disagreement and flag inappropriate posts.

For instance, if a creator’s opinion on a minority group is questionable but not downright hateful, the app likely won’t punish them. However, the audience can show its disapproval by ratioing the video, which could deter the TikToker from making similar content in the future.

Unfortunately, TikTok ratios are just as frequently used for bullying and harassment as they are for genuine criticism. People often start ratio threads hoping to annoy or upset the creator, even if their videos aren’t offensive or harmful. Thus, before you take part in ratioing or like a comment disputing the original poster, consider how that will affect them and whether they deserve it. If the answer is no, it may be best not to participate.

Why Do Some TikTokers Ask for a Ratio?

Having spent some time on TikTok, you’ve likely seen creators write “ratio me 1:1” in the comment sections of their own videos. This phrase may have puzzled you, but its meaning is quite simple — the TikToker is asking their audience to match the number of likes and comments on a specific video.

But how exactly does a 1:1 ratio help a TikTok creator? Although there are no benefits associated with this particular ratio, the algorithm does favor videos with high engagement, which entails both likes and comments. As a rule, viewers leave likes far more frequently than they comment, leading to disproportionate numbers. However, when a TikToker encourages their audience to make a 1:1 ratio, more of their followers are likely to comment, increasing engagement and, thus, their popularity.

What to Do If You Get Ratioed?

No one likes getting ratioed, but it can happen to anyone posting content on TikTok, no matter how unproblematic they attempt to be. When you first experience it, your instinct may be to immediately respond and defend yourself, but that might not be the best strategy. Instead, it’s much wiser to take a step back and consider if the ratio was warranted.

If you find that the comments make a good point, own your mistake and apologize if necessary. Don’t dwell on the controversy for too long, though – that could cause the opposite of the desired effect and ruin your experience on the platform.

However, if you believe a misunderstanding has caused a ratio, you could clarify your point in the comments of the video in question. An explanation may swing the ratio in your favor, but it also might expose you to further scrutiny and criticism. Be prepared for both scenarios, and make sure that you’re in a good headspace before you decide to defend yourself further.

Finally, if you’ve been ratioed by bullies and trolls, the best course of action is to ignore them and report offensive or harmful comments. If necessary, step away from TikTok for a while until the situation calms down on its own.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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