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TikTok Announces Events and Support Initiatives for Black History Month

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TikTok Announces Events and Support Initiatives for Black History Month


With Black History Month getting underway this week, TikTok has announced a new #BlackTikTok event, which aims to highlight Black creators on the platform, and elevate their efforts.

As explained by TikTok:

“We’re celebrating and honoring #BlackTikTok all month and beyond, with a billboard takeover of the Pendry West Hollywood, new in-app stickers, Black music playlists and TikTok LIVE programming that spotlights Black creators making waves on and off the platform.”

As you can see here, TikTok’s new themed stickers will provide a way for users to take part in the broader commemoration.

TikTok’s live-streams, meanwhile, will showcase a range of Black creators, musicians, businesses and organizations.

“Kicking off on February 4th and every week this month, we will launch a variety of themed programming celebrating those who are making an impact in the entertainment industry and in their community.”

TikTok’s also partnering with iHeartRadio for a live event celebrating Black Music in the app, which will feature performances by Lizzo and Big Sean, among others, while it will also showcase ‘genre busting’ Black artists via the #BlackMusic hashtag.

Finally, TikTok has also announced its 2022 ‘Black TikTok Trailblazers’, a group of creators that represent the next generation of entertainment leaders, and have been nominated by the TikTok community for their creativity, passion, and authenticity.

TikTok Black History Month 2022

It’s the latest in TikTok’s broader effort to support Black creators as it looks to elevate those in minority groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Last January, the platform launched its TikTok for Black Creatives incubator program, through which it provided funding and support for 100 emerging Black creators and musicians in the app, while it also allocated a further $50k each to 10 more Black creators in November as part of its MACRO x TikTok Black Creatives initiative. It’s also promoted Black-owned businesses via its #ShopBlack campaign.

At the same time, TikTok has also had to contend with various criticisms of the way its systems are potentially biased against Black users.

Last July, a group of the app’s top stars held a strike to protest its treatment of Black creators, who drive many of in-app trends.

As explained by The Black Media Authority:

“While White creators are being signed to record labels, being invited on talk shows and getting paid for their popularity, Black creators are going unnoticed and unheard. Notably Charli D’Amelio, a creator with 131.5 million followers and her own reality television show was criticized for not giving credit to Black creator Jalaiah Harmon after passing off “The Renegade” dance as her own. D’Amelio eventually credited Harmon for the dances choreography after receiving backlash from the public.”

This, the creators say, is just one example of the way TikTok’s broader impact has inherently favored white talent, which has prompted TikTok to re-evaluate its processes in order to detect and eliminate any potential bias in the way it ranks and promotes clips.

The app is now a key platform for many creators, from many communities, and it’s important for TikTok to both recognize and nurture such where it can, in order to keep expanding its cultural presence. Black creators are already key drivers of such in the app, and Black History Month is the perfect time to both celebrate and acknowledge their contributions, and offer additional pathways to support wherever it can.



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Oversight board slams Meta for special treatment of high-profile users

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Facebook's Meta funded attack campaign against TikTok: report

Photo: — © AFP

An oversight panel said on Tuesday Facebook and Instagram put business over human rights when giving special treatment to rule-breaking posts by politicians, celebrities and other high-profile users.

A year-long probe by an independent “top court” created by the tech firm ended with it calling for the overhaul of a system known as “cross-check” that shields elite users from Facebook’s content rules.

“While Meta told the board that cross-check aims to advance Meta’s human rights commitments, we found that the program appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns,” the panel said in a report.

“By providing extra protection to certain users selected largely according to business interests, cross-check allows content which would otherwise be removed quickly to remain up for a longer period, potentially causing harm.”

Cross-check is implemented in a way that does not meet Meta’s human rights responsibilities, according to the board.

Meta told the board the program is intended to provide an additional layer of human review to posts by high-profile users that initially appear to break rules for content, the report indicated.

That has resulted in posts that would have been immediately removed being left up during a review process that could take days or months, according to the report.

“This means that, because of cross-check, content identified as breaking Meta’s rules is left up on Facebook and Instagram when it is most viral and could cause harm,” the board said.

An independent oversight board created by Meta is calling on the Facebook-parent led by Mark Zuckerberg to overhaul its special handling of content posted by VIPs – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP WIN MCNAMEE

Meta also failed to determine whether the process had resulted in more accurate decisions regarding content removal, the board said.

Cross-check is flawed in “key areas” including user equality and transparency, the board concluded, making 32 recommended changes to the system.

Content identified as violating Meta’s rules with “high severity” in a first assessment “should be removed or hidden while further review is taking place,” the board said.

“Such content should not be allowed to remain on the platform accruing views simply because the person who posted it is a business partner or celebrity.”

The Oversight Board said it learned of cross-check in 2021, while looking into and eventually endorsing Facebook’s decision to suspend former US president Donald Trump.

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