TikTok said it fixed a “significant error” in its creator marketplace that “incorrectly” reported phrases as hate speech in response to a widely viewed video from a TikTok creator that appeared to show the platform tagging words like “pro Black” and “Black Lives Matter” as “inappropriate content” on creator biographies.
“Our TikTok Creator Marketplace protections, which flag phrases commonly associated with hate speech, have been mistakenly configured to flag phrases with no word order. We recognize and apologize for the frustration of this experience, and our team has corrected this important error, ”a spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement. “To be clear, Black Lives Matter does not violate our policies and currently has over 27 billion views on our platform. “
The video, posted on July 6 by comedian Ziggi Tyler, showed Tyler attempting to edit his bio on the Creator Marketplace, a platform that connects creators and brands for collaborations. (Creator Marketplace is currently in beta and is invitation-only.) After many attempts, Tyler was unable to include phrases in his bio like “support Black Lives Matter,” “black people,” “pro-black.” , “Black Voices” and “Black success” – all of which appeared to be flagged as “inappropriate content,” according to a screen recording he shared on TikTok. But when Tyler changed those phrases to “white,” as in “supporting white success,” “pro white” and “white voices,” his bio was accepted by the platform, according to his video. Other phrases such as “support white supremacy” and “I am a neo-Nazi” were also accepted by the platform and not flagged as “inappropriate”.
“I’m really pissed off,” Tyler said in his video, which has over 1.3 million views. “We are tired.”
@ ziggityler # greenscreenvideo I’m going live in 30 minutes to answer questions. You must all get this message across. Please. #fyp シ #fyp #wicked #justice ♬ original sound – Ziggi Tyler
TikTok said the error was related to the word “audience” in Tyler’s bio, which was reported because of the word “die” inside “audience.” That word, in connection with phrases that used the word “Black,” then made TikTok’s surveillance system believe that the biography may have contained hate speech. “White supremacy,” on the other hand, was not reported on its own because the phrase could have been used in conjunction with phrases indicating the creator was against it, such as “fighting white supremacy,” according to TikTok.
This is not the first time that TikTok – and other social media platforms – have been accused of racial prejudice and of under-serving its black creators. Last year, TikTok Managing Director Vanessa Pappas apologized to Black TikTokers for a “technical glitch” that made it look like videos tagged with #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd had 0 views. Last month, many black creators also launched a virtual “strike” by refusing to create dances on Megan Thee Stallion’s latest single and first TikTok dance track, “Thot Shit,” in a bid to highlight how well the creators black people are often underestimated. credited and underrated for the content they create on the app.