Fed up with TikTok, Black creators are leaving the platform

Many Black TikTok creators say the platform exploits their content while suppressing their voices. For some, the only solution is to pick up and move to other platforms.

9/16/2021 4:17:00 PM

Many Black TikTok users say the platform exploits their content while suppressing their voices. Increasingly, they're moving their activity to other platforms. _B_Contreras_ and MarVasMartinez report:

Many Black TikTok creators say the platform exploits their content while suppressing their voices. For some, the only solution is to pick up and move to other platforms.

, to the company not hiring enough Black staff.Ukanwa, the USC assistant professor, said one possibility is that the algorithm was “trained to flag content that involves race” as an anti-bullying measure but isn’t nuanced enough to distinguish between good and bad discussions of it. Another factor could be parent company ByteDance’s

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.AdvertisementSinger, actress and comedian Nicque Marina started posting videos on TikTok during winter of 2019. She now has more than 1.2 million followers on the app and regularly receives thousands of views on her videos.(Nicque Marina)shadowbanned

,” or subjected to artificially deflated viewership, Marina now avoids talking about some subjects on TikTok, reserving them for her YouTube followers (TikTok has denied using shadowbans). Yet she is sticking around, finding TikTok’s editing tools and the audience of more than 1 million followers she has cultivated there too valuable to abandon. headtopics.com

“I have no intention of being bullied off of anywhere,” she said. “Especially as a Black, female creator, I am not giving up a seat at a table that I’ve rightfully earned.”It’s a common sentiment. LaToya Shambo, chief executive of Black Girl Digital, an influencer marketing agency focused on Black women, said that although many Black creators don’t feel appreciated or supported by TikTok, it’s hard to opt out of TikTok’s enormous user base when the apps being suggested as alternatives are much less popular.

AdvertisementBlack Girl Digital, an influencer marketing agency that works specifically with Black women, recently partnered with Boston for a campaign to “help shift the sentiment” around the city. LaToya Shambo, the agency’s CEO, said that many Black influencers are frustrated with how TikTok treats them — yet often stick with the platform because of the enormous audience it offers.

(Steve Osemwenkhae)“It’s a challenge when you are making money and you are seeing success on the platform,” Shambo said. “Some people are like, ‘I’m leaving. Fine, this is it.’ And some people are like, ‘You know what, not today.’”Conley, the cosplayer, is in the former camp. Although his original account

was restoredsoon after The Times reached out to TikTok about his complaints, he’s still in the process of moving over to Fanbase and Clapper. The transition is a headache — phasing out his TikTok presence; posting the same videos across multiple platforms; backing everything up to Google — but he sees it as a necessary act of resistance. headtopics.com

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