TikTok prevented its creators from writing “Black Lives Matter” in the bio

TikTok prevented its creators from writing “Black Lives Matter” in the bio

The fault was a little (or too) careful algorithm, according to the social network, but the problem should now be solved

(photo: Unsplash) For TikTok insert references to the movement for the defense of the rights of neri Black Lives Matter in their profile is "inappropriate". It may sound absurd, but that's what some creators of the popular short video app reported last week. However, there is an explanation.

Comedian Ziggi Tyler was the first to notice the problem as he attempted to update his bio in TikTok's Creator Marketplace, the place for the app to connect creators with sponsors. Tyler posted several clips on his account showing that whenever he tried to edit his bio to include phrases like "Black Lives Matter", "Pro-Black" or "Black success", TikTok said his bio contained content " inappropriate "and could not be updated.

Tyler replaced the word" black "with" white "in each sentence, showing how TikTok did not report his profile even though it included expressions like" I support supremacy white ”or terms like“ pro-white ”.

The platform denied that there was a general problem and blamed some improvements to the Marketplace. The reporting of these phrases, however, produced a temporary suspension that prevented any creator from changing their bio.

The company then apologized for the incident and provided a more comprehensive explanation. "Our TikTok Creator Marketplace protections, which mark phrases typically associated with hate speech, have been mistakenly set to mark phrases without respecting word order," a TikTok spokesperson told Gizmodo. The social network added that its team has corrected this error and clarified that Black Lives Matter does not violate its policies.

TikTok's algorithm, according to the company itself, would have identified the word "die" ( "Death", "die") in the term "au die nce" ("public"), which appeared in Tyler's profile. The proximity of the word "black" and the letters that form "die" would have suggested to the artificial intelligence that it was an incitement to hate people of color. TikTok also pointed out that its algorithm would draw attention to any combination of the words "die" and "black". If they were both included in someone's Creator Marketplace bio, they would have been flagged as inappropriate.

While the platform's explanation this time may sound compelling, it's not the first time black creators have come up against the app. During the Black Lives Matter protests that escalated last year, several creators claimed that TikTok was blacking out content about George Floyd's death, which the company later attributed to a "glitch."

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Black Lives Matter Rights Tiktok globalData.fldTopic = "Black Lives Matter, Rights, Tiktok "

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