The tragic murder of George Floyd has sparked outrage – and protest – on TikTok. | Image: Odd ANDERSEN / AFP
- TikTok users have been rallying behind The Black Out movement since May 19, but with recent events, it’s carrying on in a show of solidarity.
- The social media platform has blown up over the last few months, but is it really all dance snippets and lip-syncing?
- Some users believe that TikTok has been censoring black content creators and are rallying against the company from within.
Racism isn’t something new in the world, but because of advancements in technology, it’s more well-documented than ever.
Sadly, the recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis has highlighted that change needs to happen now, more than ever. As the conversation goes on, TikTok has also been brought to the forefront.
Twitter user encourages others to take part. | Source: Twitter
Back on May 19, many users changed their profile pictures to the black power fist in a show of solidarity. According to CNN, Black Lives Matter Utah founder Lex Scott came up with The Black Out movement. She explained the reason why to the network:
I did this because black creators are being silenced on TikTok and other social media platforms and I am fed up. Our videos are taken down and our accounts are banned when we speak against racism. I want TikTok to change their policies when it comes to black and brown creators. We should not be punished for speaking against racism. The accounts of actual racists should be taken down.
Spurred on by Floyd’s death, the movement is still going strong as thousands of users continue to share videos with the hashtags #ImBlack and #BlackVoicesHeard.
TikTok was accused of blocking Black Lives Matter hashtags. | Source: Twitter
TikTok Says It’s Not Guilty
The video-sharing app may look like another social media platform for vapid teens to gain likes, but it goes beyond that. It’s a way for Gen-Zers to come together to address issues in one of the only methods available to them–even if that means rallying against the platform itself.
Many believe TikTok’s parent company CCP China purposely blocked the hashtags. | Source: Twitter
Users noticed that view counts on videos with hashtags relating to Floyd’s murder or referencing Black Lives Matter were mysteriously disappearing. So, what’s the deal?
After being challenged by a user on Twitter, TikTok was quick to deny that they were purposely censoring content:
We are aware of an issue that is impacting the hashtag view counts displayed at the upload stage. This appears to affect words at random, including terms like #cat and #hello. Our team is investigating and working quickly to address the issue.
While the company claims it was all a bug, some people aren’t convinced. Either way, it’s a testament to a generation that worships TikTok queens like Charli D’Amelio. They aren’t afraid to infiltrate a platform from within to rally for change.
It’s up to the rest of us to make sure they’re heard.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.
Last modified: May 30, 2020 7:58 PM