Social media platform TikTok is being criticized after a user pointed out that #BlackLivesMatter and tags related to George Floyd were not displaying viewer counts because they appeared to be blocked, The Wrap reported.
“TikTok blocked the #blacklivesmatter tag and every single tag related to #GeorgeFloyd. This is disgusting,” the user wrote on Twitter.
— damian ᵇˡᵐ (@revengedja) May 28, 2020
TikTok blamed the issue on a "random" bug that affected other hashtags including, #cat and #hello. The platform said the error was occurring before users uploaded videos.
A spokesperson for the platform told The Wrap that the error has since been fixed and that users should be able to see the viewer count of the tags.
The company added that the exclusion of the tags was not intentional and was not tied to a specific topic.
“We have identified and resolved an issue that had widely affected the view count displayed on hashtags in the upload stage,” TikTok said. “This bug had temporarily affected view count displays on hashtags at random in the Compose screen only; it did not affect tags, videos, or discovery of uploaded content. We apologize for the confusion this caused for our community.”
A reporter for The New York Times said the issue was a "temporary glitch" and users could still see the viewer counts of the tags after uploading content.
This is a temporary glitch where view counts weren’t showing for any tags pre-upload. In search, you could always see view counts and once uploaded the hashtags worked normally. You just couldn’t see the view numbers *pre-upload* https://t.co/CNTUq9rh7w
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) May 29, 2020
The alleged error was criticized on Twitter and caused some confusion.
I'm confused, I thought Tictok was pro democrats/socialists?
— K•R•Washington???????? (@579KRW) May 29, 2020
bruh can they do this, I thought y'all had freedom of speech. so what happens now, y'all just gonna watch as the government stifles your freedom of speech like that?
— Bathicular (@spiriiitzzz) May 28, 2020
The backlash comes on the heels of heightened tensions in the Black community after the death of Floyd. Since the video surfaced of former officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes, protests have sparked in the city of Minneapolis.