TikTok formed a Creator Diversity Collective to bring together creators on its platform from different backgrounds in an effort to ensure diversity, inclusion and representation.
U.S. general manager Vanessa Pappas and director of creator community Kudzi Chikumbu said in a blog post that the initial members were chosen due to their knowledge of TikTok and their dedication to advocating for a more inclusive platform.
More creators of diverse backgrounds will be added to the Creator Diversity Collective in the coming weeks, and it will meet in early July, followed by regular meetings with TikTok employees to share their perspectives.
Mutale Nkonde, fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University, joined TikTok’s Content Advisory Council, attending her first meeting earlier this week.
Nkonde said in the blog post, “As TikTok becomes the online destination for Gen Zers, the construction of race and expressions of racism are becoming a foundational part of how users understand each other. I am honored to join this council to help bring attention to the challenges and opportunities this presents and ensure that Black, Indigenous and other negatively racialized young people enter an affirming and inclusive online space.”
Pappas and Chikumbu reiterated policies that are already in place at TikTok, such as removing content, banning accounts and blocking the spread of hate terms in search when hate or violent extremist groups are detected, as well as notifying users if they Duet or react to videos that were removed from violating its community guidelines.
They added, “We have a series of other improvements underway to improve notifications and appeals, which will begin rolling out next month.”
The dedicated page TikTok created for Juneteenth pivoted its focus to how systemic racism continues to impact the Black community, highlighting the videos and accounts of Black creators raising awareness of these issues.
TikTok also detailed financial support it is providing to organizations that fight for racial equality and justice and nonprofits that provide programs and resources to Black communities.
A total of $2 million will go to organizations that work to establish and support inclusive communities across the U.S., including Accion Opportunity Fund, the BET and United Way Covid-19 Relief Fund, Black Girls Code and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
TikTok is also committing $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity to help it fight for justice by condemning racism and bias in policing across the country.
A total of $850,000 in microgrants will go to the Brooklyn Community Foundation (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Brotherhood Crusade (South Los Angeles) and My Block My Hood My City (Chicago).
And $150,000 will go to Black museums across the country: the California African American Museum, The Legacy Museum (founded by the Equal Justice Initiative) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Pappas and Chikumbu wrote, “As we engage with our community, we continue to receive valuable feedback on how we can increase transparency, improve systems, prevent inherent bias and amplify diverse voices—and we are hard at work on updates to that end. We realize that these are just first steps: No one action, donation or blog post is going to fix a broken system. At TikTok, we are fully committed to supporting and promoting diverse voices and perspectives. We must be part of the solution, not the problem. We look forward to providing further updates on our progress and hearing feedback from our community in the months to come.”