TikTok claims it was a glitch in the system.
As streets across America filled with people protesting the injustices against Black lives in America, TikTok found itself at the center of a new controversy. Users came to found that hashtags for Black Lives Matter and George Floyd were censored. Anytime someone tried to hashtag either of them, it would come up with 0 posts, prompting accusations against the app that they were shadow blocking the hashtags.
TikTok has since responded to the allegations on both Instagram and Twitter with claims that it was a glitch in the system. "Earlier today we found & fixed an issue that widely affected the view count displayed on hashtags in the upload stage. This bug temporarily affected view count displays on hashtags in the Compose screen only; it did not affect hashtags, videos, or discovery of uploaded content," a tweet reads on @TikTokSupport's Twitter account. "While this technical issue affected a wide range of terms, we recognize that it unfortunately came at a painful time for the Black community in particular. We deeply value the diverse voices on TikTok, and we apologize for the confusion and pain this situation caused."
In a separate statement shared to their Instagram page and the @TikTokUS page, they wrote, "We stand with the Black community and are proud to provide a platform where #blacklivesmatter and #georgefloyd generate powerful and important content with over 1 billion views."
Read the statements below.