May 19, 2022

TikTok Is Adding New Video-Crediting Features – It Comes Almost A Year After Black TikTok Creators Went On Strike

Failing to credit Black creators will cost platforms and TikTok is one firm that’s not trying to be a part of that mess – again.

The Bytedance-owned app is introducing the first iteration of creator-crediting tools that will enable — and encourage — users to link back to the videos of TikTok creators and trend originators.

The new TikTok tools, rolling out over the next few weeks, will let creators directly tag and credit others through a new button in the app. Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok’s U.S. director of the creator community, led the initiative to launch the feature.

It comes after Black TikTok creators went on strike back in June last year for the lack of credit they receive for creating dances that often go viral as they proliferate across the platform.

Using the #BlackTikTokStrike hashtag, they drew attention to the “preferential treatment” of white TikTok creators, from ripping off a dance to reaping monetary gain from mass views.

For example, Charli D’Amelio, a white creator, blew up on TikTok with a dance to “Lottery (Renegade)” by Atlanta rapper K Camp. Yet she only credited the Black creator behind the dance, Jalaiah Harmon, after gaining millions of new followers.

Another example – last year TikTok star Addison Rae — one of the platform’s most-followed and highest-earning creators — was blasted after she performed popular TikTok dances on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” but failed to give credit to the mostly Black TikTok users who created them.

“It’s important to see a culture of credit take shape across the digital landscape and to support underrepresented creators in being properly credited and celebrated for their work,” Chikumbu wrote in a blog post. “Whether taking part in the latest trend, adding a punchline to a joke, or creating the next viral sound, creators can easily and directly cite their inspiration.”

Tiktok’s feature follows a similar Instagram made earlier this year.

Ahead of international women’s day this year – Instagram announced that it will be introducing a special tag for professional accounts and influencers that ensures they receive credit for their content.

The enhanced tagging feature lets Instagram users show additional information on “People Tags” on their posts.

Beyond just a profile’s username, the tags will highlight the creators’ self-designated profile category (titles are chosen from Instagram’s list of categories, like “rapper” or “fashion stylist” or “photographer”) as well as their account’s full name or title.

The information is shown when users tap on posts to see tags and in the expanded “In This Photo” screen.

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.