TikTok apologized after the users complained that the posts having hashtags #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter were shown to get zero views.
Users started questioning why the app, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, was suppressing the hashtags while protests were sweeping across the nation following the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody about a week ago in Minneapolis.
Many users changed their profile photos to show a raised black fist, which has come to be known as the symbol for the Black Power movement. Several users even urged to un-follow the TikTok users who were not supporting the protests.
The U.S. general manager for TikTok, Vanessa Pappas, and the director of the creator community, KudziChikumbu wrote in their blog post that they are sorry for their Black community and creators who have felt suppressed, unsupported, and unsafe.
The problem was noticed in the compose screen where the users were adding hashtags to their captions. The hashtags #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter were shown to have zero views. However, the actual view count came up when the users searched for videos on the app with the hashtags mentioned above
The blog post further clarified that it was a technical glitch that made #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter show up as having zero views, where posts with these hashtags had garnered more than two billion views.
Popular hashtags like #dad and #cat also faced the same problem, which began on Thursday and got fixed by Friday.
TikTok plans to have a creator diversity council that will recognize and uplift the voices contributing to creativity, culture, and other significant discussions on the platform.
The company has also pledged to donate $3 million to help the black communities during the pandemic and another $3 million to fight racial inequality and injustice in the country.