TikTok apologized Monday after complaining that posts with hashtags #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd were marked with zero views on the popular short video app.
Users accused TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, of censoring black voices during protests. which erupted across the United States after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Some users of TikTok changed their profile pictures to a raised black fist symbolizing black power, while urging others to rescind users who did not support what a popular TikTok user called "the unjust censorship of black creators."
"We acknowledge and apologize to our black creators and to the community that has felt unsafe, unsupported or suppressed," Vanessa Pappas, TikTok USA's general manager, and Kudzi Chikumbu, director of the creator community, wrote in a blog post.
The company said it did not censor posts and blamed a display problem stemming from a technical error that affected a wide variety of hashtags. In reality, videos with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag have generated more than 2 billion views, according to TikTok.
“We understand that many assumed that this error was an intentional act to suppress the experience and invalidate the feelings felt by the black community. , ”Wrote Pappas and Chikumbu. "And we know we have work to do to regain and repair that trust."
TikTok said it would create a special council to reinforce different voices and would donate $ 3 million to nonprofit organizations that help the black community and $ 1
"Words can only go so far. I invite our community to hold us accountable for the actions we take over the coming weeks, months and years," said Kevin Mayer, who took over as CEO of TikTok last month, in a separate post on TikTok.
TikTok has been accused of censorship in the past, including allegations that it suppressed posts related to protests against the Hong Kong government, as well as videos of disabled, queer and overweight creators.
read technical coverage from Fortune :
- Why GitLab hired a "head of remote" before the coronavirus pandemic
- SpaceX's historic crew rocket launch in pictures
- Phone sales dropped in coronavirus lockdown
- Robot cleaning has its moment in the fight against COVID-19
- SE: Zoom ups and downs since the coronavirus crisis