China-Owned TikTok Caught Censoring Blacks, Pledges to Create ‘Diversity Council’

TikTok, video sharing app that has become wildly popular with teens, paid a record fine in the United States for illegally collecting personal information from children
Joe Scarnici/Getty

China-owned social media app TikTok stated on Monday that it will create a “creator diversity council” to address criticisms that it censors black creators.

The Verge reports that China-owned social media app TikTok plans to take actions to address criticisms that it censors black creators by suppressing their content using algorithms. The firm stated that it will be launching a “creator diversity council” which is aimed at “recognizing and uplifting the voices driving culture, creativity, and important conversations on the platform,” according to a recent blog post from the Chinese company.

TikTok stated that it will be reassessing its moderation strategies in order to build out a new “user-friendly” appeals process and develop a new creator portal for expanding communications and “opportunities for our broader creator community.” The firm also announced that it will “stand in solidarity with the Black community” by participating in “Blackout Tuesday” in which BLM supporters post a single black square to their profile in a show of solidarity.

TikTok plans to shut down its Sounds page, turning off all playlists and campaigns “to observe a moment of reflection and action,” on Tuesday. TikTok also pledged a donation fo $3 million to non-profits that aid the black community and another $1 million to address “racial injustice and inequality.”

“We appreciate being held accountable. We know that getting to a place of trust will take work, but we are dedicated to doing our part as we continue to foster a space where everyone is seen and heard,” the company stated in its post.

TikTok users changed their profile pictures to the black power symbol in May to protest the censorship of black creators. CNN reported at the time that black creators asked non-black allies to follow at least one black creator and many users unfollowed those who did not support the movement. At the height of the recent protests across the country, TikTok alleged that a “technical glitch” made it appear as if videos uploaded under the #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd hashtags received zero views.

On Friday, it appeared that TikTok was continuing to restrict search results for terms such as #ACAB and #FuckThePolice. Users could use the tags but the videos would not show up when browsing those tags.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.