Celebrities Are Deleting TikTok As Its Preventing Users From Hashtagging & Supporting #GeorgeFloyd & BlackLivesMatter

by Nana Tamakloe
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The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, when Derek Chauvin, a White Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

The incident was filmed on camera, whilst Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, while Chauvin had his knee on his neck. The three other arresting officers were identified as Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. Officer Kueng held Floyd’s back while Lane held his legs, and Thao stood nearby and looked on. The four officers were fired the next day.

This situation was so disturbing it made the whole world forget about the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since then, there has been riots and protest across the nation.

Unfortunately, TikTok that has been made very popular amongst the African American pop culture by Hip Hop and Afro beats with songs such as ‘Savage’ and ‘Don’t Rush’ refuses to allow it’s users to support justice for George Floyd. First published by @revengedja who announced TikTok is blocking #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd hashtags.

The tweet was then picked up by latina actress Rachel Zegla who concurred with the experience.

She also announced she will be deleting the account and app off her phone.

It seems after her post many came to acknowledge TikTok has a history of numbing political opression and protests. A @SadKamous replied “There are many such examples of Tiktok stifling the hashtags that are somewhat inclined towards protests and such. They did it during Hong Kong. You cannot search Tibet related things. They exist but they are not recommended and their reach is lowered.”

More weighed in. @Sappichdnp stated “they silenced us when we talked about the muslim concentration camps, now they’re silencing is when we talk about police brutality and black lives matter”

Although it seems not every one of her followers had that same experience with black lives matter

But the actress was persistent with it, stating “A few of my followers can see these, yet others cannot. Regardless, the racism on Tiktok is not new; we know that. Something must be done.”

She then stated “stop pretending that this isn’t happening just because it isn’t happening to -you-. that’s your privilege. recognize it.”

Some might dispute that there is censorship on the part of TikTok because a few can access the hashtag, and it may or may not be true, however, censorship on social media doesn’t always mean a total shadowban on media. At times it could be partial.

For example from 2016 to 2018 facebook waged a mass limitation of pages to limit their outreach (see here) the objective was to prevent smaller dynamic business gaining traction in the market from surpassing business that had monopolies in their field. It was also to encourage more paid adverts to people to reach their followers.

This definitely happened to us after surpassing 1 million followers on our FashionGHANA.com Facebook page. Prior to this social media alteration, our posts will reach over 8000 likes and 100,000s of viewers. As of now, due to our push for African fashion business and the limitation incurred, a post will reach roughly 200+ likes and 20,000 viewers.

It could be that TikTok may not have banned the hashtags, but may have put a limitation on its viewership, and maybe after its been viewed by a number of users it is then hidden to limit its reach. From the replies received by Rachel, it is definitely assured that TikTok is not for free speech and definitely not for justice for George Floyd.

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