A Black TikTok user brought attention to the platform after his attempts to post Black Lives Matter phrases were censored. According to NBC News, Ziggi Tyler, who has over 370,000 followers, took to the platform this week and provided visuals to accompany complaints about his blocked efforts.
In the videos, Tyler showed fellow TikTok users his process of trying to update his bio on the Creator Marketplace — the app’s “official platform for brand and creator collaborations.” “Black Lives Matter,” “Black people,” “Black voices,” “Black success” and other phrases including the word “Black” were immediately flagged as “inappropriate content.”
Opposing phrases, however, didn’t trigger the same warning. Tyler’s usage of terms like “pro-white,” “supporting supremacy,” “neo-Nazi” and “anti-Semitic” were allowed on the platform.
“White people can get on here and call me the N-word and make videos about violent extremism, but I can’t do anything,” Tyler said in one of his videos. “We can’t do anything.” He later alluded to boycotting the social media app, asking his supporters to follow him on platforms like YouTube and Instagram instead.
Tyler’s videos instantly went viral, and TikTok subsequently caught flak for another example of its poor treatment of Black creators. Following the backlash, a representative of the app clarified that Black Lives Matter posts are permitted on the platform and explained that the warnings were results of an “inaccurate algorithm setting,” according to Complex.
“Our TikTok Creator Marketplace protections, which flag phrases typically associated with hate speech, were erroneously set to flag phrases without respect to word order,” the TikTok rep told NBC News. “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.”