screenshot from @brittanytaylorr_'s video
On May 19, 2020, Black TikTok creators and their allies participated in the 2020 TikTok Blackout, a day-long peaceful protest against the way that Black creators are unfairly shadow banned and silenced. Shadow banning is an easy and quiet way for TikTok to suppress the voices of minority groups who try to share their truths on the app.
“Black creators get shadow banned for speaking on topics, [of racism and oppression] and Black creators create some of the biggest trends, for which they are never credited,” one creator shared in his video on the meaning of the protest.
Black creators posted content throughout the day and encouraged allies to support them by liking, commenting and sharing, as well as by changing their profile pictures to the image of a clenched black fist, the symbol of Black power and of Black Lives Matter. It was not just a movement by Black people, but by people of all ethnicities coming together to support the Black community.
“We cannot be silenced or appeased, and we will be heard,” the creator said.
Most of the content created on May 19 worked to uncover and call out systematic and cultural oppression, as well as to remember Ahmaud Arbery, his family and the countless other Black people who have been taken before their time.