Update 9:37am CT, July 8: When reached for comment, a TikTok spokesperson told the Daily Dot in a statement: “Our TikTok Creator Marketplace protections, which flag phrases typically associated with hate speech, were erroneously set to flag phrases without respect to word order. We recognize and apologize for how frustrating this was to experience, and our team has fixed this significant error. To be clear, Black Lives Matter does not violate our policies and currently has over 27B views on our platform.”
Original story: A video posted on Monday allegedly exposing what phrases TikTok qualifies as “inappropriate content” in its Creator Marketplace has gone viral.
TikTok Creator Marketplace is a platform that allows creators to connect with brands for sponsorships and paid campaigns. In his video, Ziggi Tyler, a creator with over 340,000 followers, seemingly reveals that every phrase with the word “Black” is flagged by TikTok for being inappropriate.
“Pro-Black, supporting Black Lives Matter, Black success, and Black people” are among the few phrases Tyler demonstrates as deemed inappropriate. When he replaces “Black” with “white,” he is allowed to continue and set his marketplace rate. Furthermore, the phrases “white supremacy” and “I am a neo-nazi” are not flagged.
“This is why I’m pissed the fuck off,” Ziggi Tyler says in the video. “We’re tired. The same adjectives I was using to describe us (Black people) on this app, it’s allowed.”
The video garnered more than 1 million views, and people in the comments tagged TikTok for an explanation.
“@tiktok Every day, you give us a reason to believe that you are RACIST,” one user commented. “Address this.”
In the comments, Tyler also alleged that TikTok removed the ability to stitch or duet his video. “They don’t want y’all to know,” he said.
The video was shared by another user to Twitter, where it received more than 178,000 views.
“Humans write the algorithm,” one user commented. “This is captured racism, prejudice, exclusion, and bias. They intentionally wrote code to keep Black creatives/Black ppl from receiving any type of exposure or monetization.”
In June of 2020, TikTok sent out a statement addressing censorship and content suppression accusations. Black content creators expressed frustration over cultural appropriation and trends created by Black people becoming popular by white creators without giving credit. Other Black creators also voiced concerns about videos being removed without explanation or for being flagged for hate speech.
“This is why that ‘Black owned’ profile tag is a fuckin trap and not to be trusted,” one user commented.
Others said this reflected a wider issue of systemic racism and was the exact reason that Black people need their own spaces.
“Uninstalled,” one user commented.
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