China’s TikTok has pledged $4 million toward the Black Lives Matter movement, which amounts to 2.26% of its gross revenue. Other than a small company named Gatsby, which pledged 104.17% of its revenue to Black Lives Matter, TikTok has given the largest percentage of its revenue.
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So why is TikTok so focused on emphasizing its support for the Black Lives Matter movement? The company may be trying to do more than make a political statement.
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China's TikTok compared to other companies on Black Lives Matter
Latona's captured charity data for a long list of companies and the amounts they donated to the Black Lives Matter movement. It's interesting that TikTok, of all the companies that are making a public spectacle of their statements in support of the movement, is the one with the largest share of its gross revenue going toward the organization.
Numerous tech companies were quick to voice their official support of the movement. Netflix voiced its support of Black Lives Matter, but it's unclear whether the firm actually donated any money to the cause. Apple pledged $100 million to the organization and issued a statement on racism, but the iPhone maker is giving just 0.16% of its gross annual revenue to the cause.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was late to make a statement on racism after the death of George Floyd, and many called him out on it. Facebook is giving $10 million or 0.01% of its gross annual revenue to the cause.
What is the video sharing app doing?
So why is TikTok giving so much more than other tech companies to the Black Lives Matter movement? It's especially interesting when you consider that the app doesn't speak up against the oppression that exists within its home country. It's trendy to support Black Lives Matter, so that's the extent to which TikTok goes to speak out for those who are oppressed.
Data from Human Rights Watch shows that oppression in China is growing. The organization said the Chinese government has significantly increased its repression and systemic abuses against Turkic Muslims and some other minority groups. And yet, TikTok has nothing to say about those abuses because it isn't trendy to speak up against them.
TikTok may also be pushing the Black Lives Matter movement because it's trying to save face in all the controversy it has dealt with on the matter. The video sharing app said a technical glitch caused the #BlackLivesMatter and #GeorgeFloyd hashtags to have zero views. The glitch also affected other hashtags, but those were the two that got noticed.
China's TikTok deals with Black Lives Matter controversy
For quite some time, TikTok has been accused of quieting the lives of the African American community. According to NBC News, black video creators have said their content doesn't get highlighted on TikTok's "For You" page as often as content made by their white peers do.
They also say their videos tend to be removed and have the audio disabled without any explanation. Experts also said many black TikTok creators don't get any credit for the challenges and trends they start on the app.
TikTok posted an apology to black creators, saying that it was sorry to those "who have felt unsafe, unsupported, or suppressed." The app also promised to take actions to make its platform more diverse and to raise black creators.
The controversy about whether TikTok was loudly proclaiming support while simultaneously quieting blacs was highlighted by an experiment conducted by BuzzFeed News. They studied the app's algorithms and found that TikTok generally recommended black creators to black users and white creators to white users. Essentially, in its quest to show users what they want to see, TikTok created a bubble that blocked out protest content for those who didn't agree with the protests that occurred after George Floyd's death.
However, that answer does not suffice as many other big corporations under accusations of "racism" have donated paltry sums to BLM. Is there a bigger agenda here?