28 Days Of Blackness: Silencing Of Black Creators–Yes, We’re All Looking At YOU, TikTok!

Follow your favorite–@whatjayesaid/@shesgottapen (TikTok)

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I have been on social media as a whole about a decade. I still get memories on Facebook from about 9 years ago, but only joined TikTok at the urging of my best friend, ally and co-conspirator, Marissa Southards. All and all, I have been on TikTok about 4 months. In that time, I have amassed 17,000 followers. Now, my content is kind of all over the place. I rant about motherhood, politics, faith and even when work gets on my nerves! The great think about the app is you can record anywhere and disperse knowledge, rebuke, shame, love or truth in a matter of 60 seconds. It is a crash course in elevator pitches, really.

I have met people that are new cousins, women that are sisters, and found motivation to keep speaking truth to power. With that said, I enjoy the app! I originally though I was too old to be on it–I mean, my 13-year-old daughter is on it! Part of my being on this app is to watch her, spy on her and protect her all at the same time. Y’know, that parental involvement thing.

For all the awesomeness on this app, the amount of racism, microaggressions and silencing of Black creators is something I am still wrapping my mind around, and determined to fight against! There are Black content creators with large accounts (better than 100k followers) who speak out about racism, homophobia, transphobia, dismantling white supremacy, and celebrating all things Black, who frequently have videos muted, taken down, or flagged for ‘violating community guidelines.’ Yet, when appeals are filed to know why certain content was flagged, those appeals are vague or unanswered! When creators confront racism, their response videos are taken down or flagged with the original offensive video still being up.

This happens ALL the time.

There are accounts that I have followed which have told their followers how they have to keep backup accounts to still produce content. Or have the back account in case the overlords take down their main pages. All these things are done to Black creators to silence them. No more no less. One of the most recent episodes of this was when a content creator, @Minnieparks89, had her account taken down.

Want to know why?

Minnie’s account is unapologetically Black, creative with her alter egos, and she gathers racists that come nigh her page with the speed of any Marvel superhero! The clapback she gives is always epic. The underside of this is because of her being so outspoken in the age of the dwindling light of the fart gas that is Orange Thanos, she had people find her off the app! She had people find her real name, where she lived and even took pictures outside of her house! When she reported these accounts, this activity to TikTok, nothing was done. Minnie got death threats, threats to her family, and TikTok did nothing–according to their own community guidelines, they should have. And didn’t. Minnie started a social media blitz through her back up page (@notminnieparks89), Intagram, Twitter, and a petition through Change.org, detailing exactly what what happened to her. After that, TikTok reinstated her account. And she’s back on her Black girl magic. The same thing happened to another account, Head of The Hoochies.

It is undeniable that TikTok has a problem with confronting racism. It is proven TikTok allows predatory behavior of children (oh, there are pedophiles! Did I mention that?), enables racists, and has a significant issues with Black creators who call out racism. It has an issue allowing Black creators to be heard, and clearly has an affinity to white supremacy. I mean, no one even knows what the magic algorithm is get the blue check to be verified! The app makes sport of Black creators! For as awesome as the community we are building is, there are those that want to burn it all down to keep warm!

We will not be silenced. We will not be erased. We keep going. Why? We fight, because we cannot afford to die…not even on an app.

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