TikTok Confesses to Restricting LGBTQ+ Hashtags on the App
Including words like “gay,” “lesbian” and “transgender.”
Last year, TikTok was under fire for censoring LGBTQ+ content on its app in specific countries. Now, the video platform has admitted that it has been shadow banning LGBTQ+ hashtags, including the words “gay,” “lesbian” and “transgender.”
According to Dazed, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) exposed the company and stated that it also censored the terms in other languages like Russian, Estonia, Bosnian and Arabic. “TikTok users posting videos with these hashtags are given the impression their posts are just as searchable as posts by other users, but in fact, they aren’t,” according to ASPI’s report. “In practice, most of these hashtags are categorized in TikTok’s code in the same way that terrorist groups, illicit substances, and swear words are treated on the platform.”
A TikTok spokesperson denied the news and insisted that the “shadow ban was a ‘localized’ approach to moderation,” as per Pink News. The representative then confessed that some terms were “incorrectly moderated” and that the company would look into the issue. “We want to be crystal clear that TikTok strongly supports our LGBTQ+ creators around the world and is proud that LGBTQ+ content is among the most popular category on the platform with billions of views,” they continued.
Stay tuned while we wait for more updates on the situation. In case you missed it, TikTok secretly collected data from Android devices for a year.