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TikTok issues apology after being accused of restricting Black lives Matter posts

Short video-making platform TikTok has issued an apology after some users claimed that the posts consisting of Black Lives Matter and George were censored by the app.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | June 3, 2020 | Updated 16:36 IST

Highlights

  • TikTok has issued an apology after some users claimed that the posts consisting of Black Lives Matter and George were censored by the app.
  • Users alleged that the short-video app was suppressing the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd hashtags.
  • The company blamed a “technical glitch” behind the posts with Black Lives Matter hashtags getting zero views.

Short video-making platform TikTok has issued an apology after some users claimed that the posts consisting of Black Lives Matter and George were censored by the app.

The app has been accused of restricting the posts by black creators. Users alleged that the short-video app was suppressing the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd hashtags. TikTok, however, apologized to the Black creators. "We acknowledge and apologize to our Black creators and community who have felt unsafe, unsupported, or suppressed. We don't ever want anyone to feel that way. We welcome the voices of the Black community wholeheartedly," Vanessa Pappas, TikTok US General Manager, and Kudzi Chikumbu, Director of Creator Community said in a blog post.

The company blamed a "technical glitch" behind the posts with Black Lives Matter hashtags getting zero views. "Last week a technical glitch made it temporarily appear as if posts uploaded using #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd would receive 0 views. This was a display issue only that widely affected hashtags at large, and powerful videos with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag continued to be uploaded, viewed, and engaged within fact, videos with these hashtags have currently generated well over 2 billion views, which is a testament to their importance to and resonance among our community. Nevertheless, we understand that many assumed this bug to be an intentional act to suppress the experiences and invalidate the emotions felt by the Black community. And we know we have work to do to regain and repair that trust," the blog read.

The issue was highlighted when some users alleged that posts with those hashtags had garnered zero views. The users had also changed their display pictures to a raised black fist and urged users to unfollow other people from the community who didn't join protest over TikTok's " unfair censorship of black creators."

TikTok also announced in the blog post that it would be donating $3 million from their Community Relief Fund to non-profit organizations that are helping the Black community affected by the COVID pandemic. They also pledged an additional $1 million for fighting the "racial injustice and inequality" in the United States of America.

Thousands of people came took to the streets across major US cities against the killing of a 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis. The video footage of a police officer pinning him down to the ground, with his hands folded at the back sparked massive outrage across the world.

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