The Brief: Black TikTokers and allies are changing their default photo to the Black power symbol as part of an online demonstration against unfair censorship on May 19.
Black creators and allies are banding together to protest the unfair censorship of people of color on TikTok. They are doing so by changing their profile pictures to the Black power fist as part of an online protest on May 19 as a result of many Black creators reporting their content being suppressed by the app’s algorithm, while others have seen their content taken down. This movement can be tracked under the hashtag #ImBlackMovement, #ImBlack, and #BlackVoicesHeard. It is also associated with the sound “I’m Black Y’all” by DJ Smallz.
These claims are in-line with TikTok’s controversial history involving censorship. In December 2019, TikTok admitted to subduing the growth of some creators , specifically individuals who developers believed were “susceptible to bullying or harassment based on their physical or mental condition, including facial disfigurement, autism, Down syndrome, [or] disabled people or people with some facial problems.”
Many creators have already changed their profile picture to Black power fists, but there is much more to this movement. Black creators and allies are taking May 19 as a day to celebrate POC creators as well as demonstrate to others how important POC creators are to the app.
On May 7, Lex Scott (the founder of Black Lives Matter Utah), posted a video with a call to action, saying, “On May 19, 2020, Black TikTok will launch a Black out in which we all change our profile pictures to Black power fists.”
The demonstration also calls for protestors to only like and follow Black creators that day, unfollow those who make racist comments and videos, as well as make and post their own video about racism on TikTok.
According to another organizer, @theemuse, creators can join he protest by commenting with he hashtag #ImBlack, #ImBlackMovement, or #BlackVoicesHeard under videos.
Many creators have already created their own videos to spread awareness about the online demonstration, using the associated hashtag and sound “I’m Black Y’all” by DJ Smallz.